WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Study results presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggest that oral vitamin D may boost allergy control. They may also make symptoms go away faster.
Two groups of people with existing seasonal allergies got inhaled cortisteroids, a common treatment for allergies. One group also recieved vitamin D supplements with the treatment, the other group took a dummy pill. The group who recieved the vitamin D supplements recovered more quickly.
While the results were impressive, this was a pilot study.
Maral Skelsey, MD of Georgetown University says, "It's not clear if it is the vitamin D or not that had the effect. Whether it helped the steroid work better or whether the vitamin D had an effect on the immune system."
Vitamin D is produced naturally by the skin following sun exposure. But Dr. Skelsey, a skin cancer specialist, says there are safer ways to get this vital nutrient.
Skelsey says, "Vitamin D should be obtained through diet and supplementation, because the sun is a known carcinogen and it causes skin cancer. Right now, there is a big skin cancer epidemic."
Top dietary sources of vitamin D include fish, orange juice and low-fat dairy products. Many doctors recommend their patients take a supplement.