In a study, published in the journal Allergy, Associate Professor Cameron Grant from the University of Auckland showed that vitamin D supplements prevent allergy to house dust mites in children.
Grant believes vitamin D supplements may also help prevent asthma in young children.
He says New Zealand and Australia have sun-avoidance public health policies and so D deficiency is prevalent.
In New Zealand, 57 per cent of newborns have low concentrations of vitamin D.
“In our clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and infancy, we showed that when these supplements were started in the mum at 27 weeks gestation and then continued in her child until the child was six months old, they prevented sensitisation of the child to house dust mites,” Grant says.
“It’s the first study to show that correcting poor vitamin D status during pregnancy and infancy might prevent childhood asthma.”