Vitamin A deficiency does not increase the risk of asthma, according to new research published online in the European Respiratory Journal.
In developing countries, vitamin A deficiency is particularly common and previous research has shown that it harms the development of the lungs.
This study aimed to assess whether vitamin A deficiency influences the development of asthma later in life.
The research, which was carried out by scientists at Johns Hopkins University in the USA and Nepalese scientists, analysed over 5,000 people living in a rural area of Nepal, where many people suffer from chronic malnutrition. They assessed whether taking vitamin A supplements at an early age altered the risk of developing of asthma.
The participants were children who had participated in two different studies. In the first, half the children were given vitamin A supplements during their pre-school years and half received a placebo. In the second study, one-third of the mothers of the children each received vitamin A supplements before, during and after pregnancy, and one-third received no supplements …