Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Vitamin D linked to Healthy Lungs

Media Release
14 December 2005

Vitamin D linked to Healthy Lungs

A study by researchers from The University of Auckland has shown that Vitamin D may play a role in keeping our lungs healthy.

The study, by Associate Professors Peter Black and Robert Scragg from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, showed that people with very low levels of Vitamin D in their bodies had less healthy lungs than those with higher levels of the vitamin.

Dr Black, from the Department of Medicine says the difference in how well the lungs worked between those with the highest and lowest levels of Vitamin D was substantial.

“It was more pronounced than the difference in lung function between former smokers and non smokers,” he says.

“Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with other diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Our research now shows that Vitamin D may also influence how well our lungs work, with greater levels of the vitamin contributing to healthier lungs.

“However further research is needed to determine just what its role is, and whether increases in Vitamin D would actually benefit patients with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema.”

The results of the study appear in the latest issue of CHEST, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

In the study Dr Scragg and Dr Black analysed data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey carried out from 1988 to 1994, and compared the lung health of 14,000 participants with different levels of Vitamin D.

Each participant had their levels of Vitamin D measured, and was given a lung function test which measured the volume of air they could exhale. Lower levels of Vitamin D were associated with lower lung volumes.

Dr Black says the effect was more pronounced in Caucasians and African Americans than Hispanics.

“From that we can assume it would very likely apply to New Zealand Caucasians and is probably relevant to other ethnicities such as Maori and Pacific people.”

Overall, Vitamin D levels were found to be higher in men than women, were inversely related to body mass index, and dropped with age.

Dr Robert Scragg has been researching Vitamin D since the 1980s and says there is growing evidence that vitamin D may protect us from many diseases.

“While we must be conscious of the dangers of spending too much time out in the sun, it is still the best source of Vitamin D and everyone should spend some time in the sun each day to get their daily fix.”

Pale-skinned people need about 10 minutes each day of sum without sunscreen, while people with darker complexions – including Maori and Pacific people - need at least 20 minutes as their skin takes longer to absorb the sun’s rays.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news