Researchers have discovered that African American children with asthma are significantly more likely to have low levels of vitamin D than healthy African American children. This study supports recent research that suggests vitamin D plays a greater role in the body than just keeping bones healthy. Vitamin D deficiency has been recently linked to a variety of non-bone related diseases including depression, autoimmune disorders, and now asthma. It has been well-documented that as a group, African Americans are more likely than other racial groups to have low levels of vitamin D. The researchers were shocked to see that almost all of the African American children with asthma that were tested had low vitamin D levels. After adjusting for differences in age, weight, and the time of year of the testing, the odds of these kids with asthma being vitamin D deficient were nearly twenty times those of healthy kids. The research team found that 86% of the children in the study with asthma had insufficient levels of vitamin D, while only 19% of non-asthmatics had these low levels. These findings may mean that low vitamin D levels have more serious effects on a child's lung health than previously believed.
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