A daily dose of Vitamin D halves the risk of severe asthma attacks, a new study has shown.

We know that asthma has increased in recent decades in incidence. We also know that Vitamin D deficiency has increased in recent decades – we’re even seeing rickets make a small comeback.

Generally we’re told that the increase in asthma is because of the pollution of modern life – odd in a country that is becoming cleaner by the hour. So, how much of the increase is really due to the Vitamin D change?

12 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Correlation and causation are always hard. A daily dose of Vitamin D looks a lot like what we would normally call playing outside.

    The most likely (or at least the one that aligns best with my prejudices which is even more credible) explanation is that asthma is caused by excessive cleanliness. The Hygiene Hypothesis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygiene_hypothesis

    Getting dirty means your immune system is kept hard at work which means it develops to be both strong and well tuned. If it is not challenged, it can go haywire and attack the rest of the human body.

    So going outside means playing in the dirt which means a properly functioning immune system which means no asthma.

  2. There’s a lot of research into this area. And more and more, people are realising that asthma is almost entirely genetic.

    So, my hypothesis is that the environment doesn’t create more asthmatics, it just brings it out. And this mostly isn’t about the outside environment, it’s about people’s homes. It’s about dust, and that in the past 50 years we’ve added lots of dust traps like wall-to-wall carpets, sofas, cuddly toys, duvets.

  3. “Modern Life” is “killing kids” in numbers never seen before. That’s why fewer children die in western society than at any other time in human history.

    I think the issue is settled.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    ““Modern Life” is “killing kids” in numbers never seen before. That’s why fewer children die in western society than at any other time in human history.

    I think the issue is settled.”

    Yep, enough of them are surviving the first year for those issues to be noticed.

  5. Sounds bollocks to me.

    But the theory is testable.

    Darker skinned people produce less vit D.
    Muslim women expose less skin to sunlight.

    So these 2 cohorts should show more asthma.

    If not, theory is bollocks.

  6. Plus you need to be seriously thick, poor and have an odd diet to get rickets in Europe.

    Not all asthmatics get rickets. Do all D deprived cases have asthma?

  7. Jonathan,
    It’s terribly racist to say that certain ethnicities are more likely to suffer from certain diseases. Even Especially if it’s true.

    The BBC go out of their way to find counter-examples: they managed to find a white girl with rickets (because her mother caked her in factor-50 suncream). They also managed to get a quote from a doctor claiming “It’s not about ethnicity”, so that’s us told.

  8. There is also an increase in fields planted with oilseed rape since theEU introduced subsidies to the processing factories which is strongly correlated with increase in asthma attacks.
    It doesn’t affect all asthmatics but enough of them for it to be noticeable.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew M – “The BBC go out of their way to find counter-examples: they managed to find a white girl with rickets (because her mother caked her in factor-50 suncream). They also managed to get a quote from a doctor claiming “It’s not about ethnicity”, so that’s us told.”

    They simply need to frame it the right way. Take this article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3671391/Lack-ethnic-minority-organ-donors-means-m-sentenced-die-race-says-soul-singer.html

    There is a growing waiting list of minority patients waiting for an appropriate organ. Only there aren’t any because BMEs don’t like to donate their organs. It is a White thing.

    The Daily Mail, of course, frames this as a White people problem. Not enough BME nurses, incompetence from the management, blah, blah, blah. They do not frame it as BMEs being selfish and stupid. Although they get close.

    Also of course they do not point out that Rusty’s favourite claim that we are all equal under the skin is not true. A BME patient is more likely to match with someone genetically closer to them – another BME by and large. We are genetically distinct and genetically distinct in ways that matter. But you can’t say that either.

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