Adults aren't the only ones suffering through a record-breaking allergy season -- kids are getting their own taste of the sniffles, sneezes, and wheezes... many for the first time in their young lives.
But instead of blaming the high pollen count, the accusing finger should be pointed instead at low levels of vitamin D.
Researchers used data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to compare serum levels of D in roughly 3,100 kids and 3,400 adults to their food and environmental allergy sensitivities.
They didn't find any link in adults... but kids with low D levels were more likely to have sensitivities to 11 of the 17 allergens tested -- including ragweed, oak, ryegrass, Bermuda grass, and thistle.
Kids with low D were also 2.4 times more likely to have a peanut allergy than kids with higher levels of the vitamin, and more likely to be sensitized to everything from shrimp to cockroaches to dogs.
Here's the thing, though: The researchers say these high-allergy youths had D levels of just 15 nanograms per milliliter of blood -- lower than even the ridiculously minimal levels recommended by the Institute of Medicine.
Makes me wonder if kids are getting outside at all anymore!
TV, Internet and videogames have turned children into housecats -- but at least cats are smart enough to lay in a sunbeam or sit on a windowsill.
Kids, on the other hand, will pick the darkest corner of the home and stay there for days if you let them -- and that's led to a massive increase in the number of D deficiencies from earlier-than-ever ages.
In some areas, doctors are even seeing a resurgence of rickets, a bone-twisting condition caused by a lack of the sunshine vitamin.
If there's one gift you can give your child or grandchild right now, make it a jar of quality D3 vitamins.
And while you're at it, consider one for yourself. Odds are, you're deficient too. p.s. D won't just help ease allergies in kids -- a study of Japanese schoolchildren found that 1,200 mg of D3 a day made kids three times less likely to get colds and 58 percent less likely to get influenza A than children given a placebo.