Vitamin D helps asthmatics

Asthma control isn't always about having your meds on standby and taking them the moment you feel the telltale signs of an impending attack. It's about having your body's defenses ready to help fight off an attack on its own, with or without meds.

And one of the most important parts of that defense system is vitamin D.

One new study of 1,024 children with mild to moderate asthma finds that kids who don't have the right levels of D have a harder time getting the disease under control, even after taking their asthma meds.

By one critical measure, the D-deficient kids had less than half of the lung improvements seen in kids with normal levels of D after taking their meds.

The difference was so dramatic that researchers say docs should test asthmatic kids for vitamin D and continue to monitor their levels -- and if those levels ever fall, the kids should be given supplements.

You don't often hear mainstream doctors and researchers recommending nutritional supplements, so you know this one's a big deal -- and not just in children.

In kids and adults alike, vitamin D plays a key role in overall lung function. Proper D levels may even help keep attacks at bay and lessen their severity when they do strike.

One review of nearly 60 years of research found that low vitamin D levels led to problems with lung function, increased airway reactivity and worse overall asthma control among asthmatics.

In other words, if you want to breathe easier, make sure you get your D -- and if you suffer from asthma, be sure to combine increased D levels with other natural treatments such as B vitamins, dietary changes, and homeopathic remedies.

You might never reach the point where you'd feel comfortable leaving your rescue inhaler at home. But if you take the natural approach, you might not need to be rescued nearly as often.