Researchers have discovered that African American children with asthma in metropolitan Washington, DC, are significantly more likely to have low levels of vitamin D than healthy children.
This study supports recent research that suggests vitamin D plays a greater role in the body than just keeping bones healthy. Vitamin D deficiency has been recently linked to a variety of non-bone related diseases including depression, autoimmune disorders, and now asthma.
The research team found that 86 percent of the children in the study with asthma had insufficient levels of vitamin D, while only 19 percent of non-asthmatics had these low levels.
Only 5 to 37 percent of American infants meet the standard for vitamin D set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Although breast milk is the perfect food in every other way, it's often low in vitamin D. Since humans originated in equatorial areas with year-round sunshine, babies in the distant past wouldn't have needed to get vitamin D from breast milk. Many mothers also are vitamin D-deficient. Based on these facts, researchers now recommend that most babies should take a daily vitamin D supplement, reports USA Today.
In addition, Mothering Magazine offers several tips on how natural medicine can strengthen immune function to prevent asthma attacks.
Oriental medicine and Chinese herbs have the ability to directly strengthen immune function. The disadvantage of herbs is their bad taste, and the most effective strategy for children is to mix liquid extracts of herbs with juice to improve their taste.
A licensed acupuncturist experienced in the treatment of children can assess an individual child's needs and prescribe an herbal formula to relieve congestion and build immune function.
Massaging specific points on your child's body during asthmatic episodes helps to relieve cough, induce relaxation, and decrease wheezing. The techniques fall into two categories: pressing on acupuncture points and massage of acupuncture channels. Both are simple, straightforward, and require no training.
For more details, please see the full article in Mothering Magazine.