There has been an increase of individuals with food allergy throughout the years. Since the number of individuals with food allergies increased, the level of vitamin D in the population evidently decreased. It is estimated that many individuals at the present are vitamin D insufficient and a small percentage are vitamin D deficient.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D or “sunshine vitamin” is vital for optimum health. It plays a big role in the maintenance of healthy bones by helping the body absorb calcium and has a role in the immune system as well.
Vitamin D is generated in the body through sun exposure on the skin or consumed in the diet via food or supplements. Tuna and sardines as well as fish oils are the richest sources of dietary vitamin D. Other sources include eggs, liver and fortified foods including margarine, dairy products or infant formulas.
Connection of vitamin D and food allergy
Countries that are far away from the equator have shown increased rates of hospital admissions due to childhood food allergy than in areas that are close to the equator. In addition, the season of birth has also been linked with a higher risk of anaphylaxis and food allergy.
There is also a link between the late introduction of egg which is a common dietary source of vitamin D to the diet of an infant and food allergy. The infants who were introduced to egg earlier (between 4-6 months) had a significantly lower risk for food allergy than children who are introduced to egg later (after 6 months of age).
Based on research involving the use of direct administration of vitamin D in the bloodstream, it revealed a link amid diminished level of vitamin D and increased possibility of allergy sensitization among children and teenagers and food allergy among infants. In another study, infants low in vitamin D are more likely to end up with peanut or egg allergy and likely to suffer from multiple allergies than infants with normal levels of vitamin D.
What to do
In most cases, the ideal way to guarantee that the body has adequate vitamin D is maintain a combination of reasonable exposure to the sun and sufficient intake of foods that contain the vitamin. The doctor can assess the level of vitamin D with a simple blood test and recommend a supplement if needed. The supplements should only be taken based on the instructions given by the doctor.
If a woman is pregnant, ensuring adequate level of vitamin D in the body is vital in ensuring that the child will have adequate levels. Remember that the vitamin D stores of the infant in the initial year of life rely on the mother’s stores before birth. With this in mind, it is vital to ensure that the level of vitamin D in the body is within the normal range.