Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 951946, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/951946
Review Article

Vitamin D and Its Role as a Protective Factor in Allergy

1Service of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, UHC “Mother Teresa,” Tirana, Albania
2Biomedical and Experimental Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine in Tirana, Tirana 1005, Albania

Received 11 April 2014; Accepted 26 June 2014; Published 31 August 2014

Academic Editor: Zhou Zhu

Copyright © 2014 Mehmet Hoxha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The relationship between vitamin D status and asthma has been subject to several studies in the last decade. Epidemiological data suggest that incidence of asthma and atopic diseases increased significantly in most Westernized countries. The significant variation between countries suggests that besides genetic factors, environmental aspects play a role in the pathogenesis of atopy. The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D is high in many industrialized countries. In addition to its relationship with bone metabolism, vitamin D is recognized as an immunomodulator, with important effects on both adaptive and innate immunity. Correlations between vitamin D status and asthma have been formulated, with a considerable interest in assessing whether this vitamin protects against or reduces asthma morbidity. In this review, we discuss recent findings regarding vitamin D status throughout Europe and its influence over asthma and allergic rhinitis prevalence. Geographical latitude and dietary habits may explain the lower prevalence of allergic disease in Albania. We also consider the effects of vitamin D supplementation in allergic disease. Several clinical trials are under way and their results are needed in order to make definitive recommendations about the optimal dose of vitamin D for prevention and treatment of asthma and allergic disease.