Vitamin D has been linked to many health benefits, so it makes it no surprise that a recent study has revealed that vitamin D deficiency has been connected to lung problems.
Referred to as interstitial lung disease (ILD), this condition relates to a number of significant lung issues, which affect the proper function of the organ. As ILD easily worsens, the condition can create irreversible damage to the lungs that can also decrease an individual’s lifespan.
The study was lead by Dr. Erin Michos, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and colleagues analyzed medical data of just over 6,300 participants.
Most were female (53%), and on average were 62 years old. In addition, 38% of the study group were Caucasian; 28% African-American; 22% Hispanic; and 12% of Chinese descent.
Follow ups were done on participants over one decade, while blood samples were taken at intervals during that time. The research team were on high alert regarding a vitamin D marker known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D).
Vitamin B deficiency was defined as participants who had lower than 20 nanograms per milliliter of 25(OH)D; with just over 2,050 participants who hit these low levels. Meanwhile, those with 20–30 nanograms per milliliter were labeled in the intermediate vitamin D level category, and those with 30 or higher were regarded as having optimal levels of vitamin D.
The participants underwent heart CT scans at differing points within the research and at the baseline. After 10 years, just over 2,660 of these study participants underwent CT scans for their lungs, which were analyzed when it comes to abnormalities or damage.
Medical News Today reported that the study team found the participants with even intermediate, as well as low levels of vitamin D, had an increased chance around revealing early signs of ILD, where the CT lung scans revealed larger amounts of spots, indicating tissue damage, versus those with optimal levels of vitamin D.
Even after the team adjusted their numbers around factors like smoking, age, lack of exercise, and obesity, these finding still remained the same.
Increasing one’s vitamin D is something that is very easy to do and requires only small lifestyle changes, including eating more foods high in the vitamin and spending more time outside in the natural sunlight.