New research suggests that vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of interstitial lung disease. Johns Hopkins University researchers found that unhealthy levels of vitamin D can promote lung inflammation and lung scarring in the long run.
What’s more, in some cases, a lack of vitamin D, aka the Sunshine Vitamin, can lead to irreversible lung damage, and people affected by the condition have a survival rate of five years on average.
Interstitial lung disease is usually caused by exposure to large amounts of airborne particles like coal or asbestos, by infections, some drugs, and autoimmune disorders.
The latest study involved more than 6,000 adults who were tracked for ten years.
Participants’ vitamin D levels were measured, as well. Around 30% of participants were vitamin D deficient when the study started. Vitamin D deficiency means less than 20nanogr per ml of blood.
Participants with a level of 20-30 nanograms per milliliter were in the borderline unhealthy range, while volunteers with 30 nanograms per milliliter had optimal levels of the Sunshine Vitamin.
The Study’s Findings
Volunteers underwent a heart CT scan which showed their lugs’ status when the study started. Ten years later all participants underwent a complete lung CT scan. Scientists were especially interested in lung damage like abnormalities and scar tissue.
The study revealed that scientists who had a vitamin D deficiency tended to develop more bright spots in the lung than those with optimal levels. The bright spots mean that the lung tissue had been damaged.
The study results remained statistically significant after they were adjusted for other influencing factors like smoking, exercise levels, and obesity.
These differences were still seen even after adjusting for influencing risk factors for lung disease such as current smoking status, physical inactivity or obesity.
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