People with occupational asthma could gain significant benefits from nutritional interventions aimed at reducing fat mass and increasing vitamin D status, according to new research.
Occupational asthma is a form of asthma caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances whilst at work. Like other types of asthma, occupational asthma can cause chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath, and people with allergies or with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop occupational asthma.
The team, led by Marina Ruxandra Otelea, noted that even after exposure to the stimulus ending, persistent asthma is frequent.
Although recognised as important, nutrition – and specifically vitamin D intake – has rarely been evaluated in occupational asthma, said the team.
Published in Endocrine, the new study investigated the possible links between vitamin D intake and occupational asthma, while also looking at their relationship with body mass and other co-morbidities related to vitamin D deficit, lung function and quality of life.
“We found a reduced vitamin D intake in both irritant and allergic asthma, in obese and non-obese patients,” revealed the team – noting that the average intake in non-obese patients, although higher, did not reach statistical significance.
“We also found lower vitamin D intake in the mild asthma group versus the severe group,” they added.
The researchers concluded that the relationship between obesity and vitamin D on clinical cores and lung function depends on the asthma phenotype.
The team recommended that nutritional interventions in all occupational asthma phenotypes should be an important aspect in future treatments – especially targeting body fat reduction and achievement of daily recommended intake of Vitamin D.
“When analysing the impact of the weight loss effect on asthma evolution, the vitamin D status should also be considered as an influencer,” they added.