Vitamin D deficiency associated with poor lung function in child asthmatics
NEW YORK — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor lung function in asthmatic children treated with inhaled corticosteroids, according to a new study from researchers in Boston released Friday.
“In our study of 1,024 children with mild to moderate persistent asthma, those who were deficient in vitamin D levels showed less improvement in pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after one year of treatment with inhaled corticosteroids than children with sufficient levels of vitamin D,” stated Ann Chen Wu, assistant professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. “These results indicate that vitamin D supplementation may enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of corticosteroids in patients with asthma.”
The findings were published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The study was conducted using data from the Childhood Asthma Management Program, a multi-center trial of asthmatic children between the ages of 5 years and 12 years who were randomly assigned to treatment with budesonide (inhaled corticosteroid), nedocromil, or placebo. Vitamin D levels were categorized as deficient (≤ 20 ng/ml), insufficient (20-30 ng/ml), or sufficient (> 30 ng/ml).
Among children treated with inhaled corticosteroids, pre-bronchodilator FEV1 increased during 12 months of treatment by 330 ml in the vitamin D insufficiency group and 290 ml in the vitamin D sufficiency group, but only 140 ml in the vitamin D deficient group.
Compared with children who were vitamin D sufficient or insufficient, children who were vitamin D deficient were more likely to be older, be African-American and have higher body mass index. Compared with being vitamin D deficient, being vitamin D sufficient or insufficient was associated with a greater change in pre-bronchodilator FEV1 over 12 months of treatment after adjustment for age, gender, race, BMI, history of emergency department visits, and season that the vitamin D specimen was drawn.
The study had some limitations, including a small sample size of 101 vitamin D deficient children, and the investigators only studied vitamin D levels at one time point, the authors suggested.
“Our study is the first to suggest that vitamin D sufficiency in asthmatic children treated with inhaled corticosteroids is associated with improved lung function,” Wu said. “Accordingly, vitamin D levels should be monitored in patients with persistent asthma being treated with inhaled corticosteroids. If vitamin D levels are low, supplementation with vitamin D should be considered.”
Vitalah launches effervescent nutritional supplement
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Vitalah on Wednesday launched a seven-count box of Oxylent — now formulated without sugar and touting zero calories — that is available in three flavors: sparkling berries, sparkling blackberry pomegranate and sparkling mandarin.
“No more bottles, no more pills, no more spilling supplements in your purse or travel bag. Our 7-count box is made for today’s active consumer who wants real nutrition without the sugar and calories,” Vitalah CEO Lisa Lent said. “Add the powder to your water bottle, and experience the sparkling beverage that picks up your energy naturally.”
The Oxylent effervescent contains a blend of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and amino acids. The effervescent delivery system ensures better absorption.
According to Lent, Oxylent represents a new generation of supplements with features that consumers want — no calories, naturally sweetened, no binders or anticaking agents, and no artificial ingredients or caffeine. In addition, the product is gluten- and dairy-free.
IPC announces scholarship winners
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Eight pharmacy students have won scholarships worth $12,000, according to a group that calls itself the country’s largest group purchasing organization for independent pharmacies.
The Independent Pharmacy Cooperative announced that the students were awarded scholarships of $1,500 each. The recipients of the scholarships, handed out at the IPC’s 2012 Member Conference in Savannah, Ga., were awarded based on an essay competition. Matching funding came from McKesson.
The recipients, all of whom are studying at their respective universities’ schools of pharmacy, are:
Albert Carbo, University of Wisconsin;
Kynsie Cochran, South University;
Mann Ence, University of Utah;
Daniel Huynh, University of the Pacific;
Dawne O’Brien, University of Arizona;
Alan Pannier, Idaho State University;
Hitesh Patel, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; and
Brad Winter, University of Utah.
"Pharmacy students are an essential part of keeping the enterprise of independent pharmacy strong," IPC president and CEO Don Anderson said. "IPC is excited to foster their career growth and development. Our organization’s involvement with colleges, universities and their pharmacy students is vital to continue the path to forward pharmacy and positively impact and advance community pharmacy."
The IPC also announced that Yost Pharmacy of Mason, Ohio, was named the IPC Most Valuable Pharmacy for 2012. The winner was announced at the IPC annual meeting in Las Vegas.