New research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to reduced lung function. In a study published in the journal Chest, researchers found that people with interstitial lung disease may be more likely to have low levels of the so-called sunshine vitamin.
Interstitial lung disease constitutes a group of disorders, the majority of which are marked by progressive scarring of lung tissue. In tests on 118 patients with interstitial lung disease, the recent study’s authors found that 38 percent of patients were deficient in vitamin D and 59 percent had insufficient vitamin D levels. It’s possible that low levels of vitamin D may play a role in the onset of interstitial lung disease, according to the authors.
An essential nutrient available in certain foods (such as fortified milk), vitamin D is produced naturally by the body during exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But since it’s difficult to obtain your recommended daily intake of D solely through dietary sources and sun exposure, many medical experts recommend increasing your vitamin D levels by taking a dietary supplement.
References^ vitamin D (altmedicine.about.com)^ study (chestjournal.chestpubs.org)