Allergies and Mold

Vitamin D may prevent Mold Allergies

New evidence from Dr. Jay Kollis, Professor and Chair of Genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, suggests that vitamin D may help prevent mold allergies by reducing the protein that drives the body's allergic response.

This is great news for those with mold allergies the world over, but it's especially enticing for those who suffer from cystic fibrosis, since mold can further complicate the symptoms of that disease.

Aspergillus fumigatus (environmental mold) is one of the most prevalent fungal organisms inhaled into the lungs. The study set out to explain why 15 percent of cystic fibrosis sufferers develop allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) while the rest do not. ABPA constricts the air passages and may mimic eosinophilic pneumonia.

"We found that adding vitamin D not only substantially reduced the production of the protein driving an allergic response, but it also increased production of the proteins that promote tolerance," noted Dr Kollis.

"Our study provides further evidence that vitamin D appears to be broadly associated with human health. The next step in our research is to conduct a clinical trial to see if vitamin D can be used to treat or prevent this complication of asthma and cystic fibrosis."

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease, affecting as many as 30,000 people in the United States alone; 70,000 worldwide. It creates thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, blocks the pancreas, leads to infection and stops digestive enzymes from reaching the intestine.

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