A team of American researchers looked at 3,136 children and adolescents, compared with 3,454 adults, to measure serum vitamin D levels and sensitivity to 17 different allergens. Children were also assessed for other factors that could affect the results, including milk intake, obesity, and socio-economic status.
The researchers found that sensitivity to 11 of the allergens was more frequent in children deficient in vitamin D, specifically environmental allergens such as ragweed and dog, and food allergens like peanuts. However, no association was found between allergies and vitamin D in the adults.
Dr. Michal Melamed at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said the study is correlational and does not prove that a deficiency of vitamin D causes childhood allergies.
However, she recommends that children consume sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
"The latest dietary recommendations calling for children to take in 600 IU of vitamin D daily should keep them from becoming vitamin D deficient," Melamed said in a press release.
Some physicians have questioned whether the above-recmmended dose of vitamin D is adequate.