Researchers have found that taking vitamin D3 supplements may enhance the response to steroid treatments among patients with asthma who normally do not have a positive response from steroid therapy. Whereas inhaled steroids work for a majority of patients with asthma, other patients benefit only from steroid tablets.
The study results, published on-line in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (December 8, 2005), showed that vitamin D3improves the responsiveness of immune system T cells to steroids. The supplement does so by inducing T cells to generate interleukin-10, a molecule that slows down the immune response that causes asthma and allergy symptoms. The researchers noted that the benefits of vitamin D3 supplements in asthma patients need further investigation.