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Vitamin D shown to play critical role in lung development

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

Evidence continues to mount suggesting that vitamin D plays an important role in respiratory health. These findings underscore the importance of vitamin D testing, which may alert individuals to a potentially dangerous deficiency.

For example, a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that vitamin D deficiencies alter lung growth and decrease lung function. The researchers said that this may help explain previous studies, which showed that low levels of the nutrient are linked to worsening asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptoms.

For the study, the researchers assessed the impact of vitamin D deficiency on the development of lung tissue in newborn mice. The researchers measured lung volume and overall function.

They found that subjects who had the lowest levels of the nutrient had much lower total lung volumes. Additionally, airway resistance was significantly higher in those with a vitamin D deficiency.

"The results of this study clearly demonstrate that vitamin D deficiency alters lung growth, resulting in lower lung volume and decrements in lung function," said Graeme Zosky, the research fellow at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Subiaco, Australia, who led the study.

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