Participants with asthma sought for vitamin D trial

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A postgraduate student investigating the effect of vitamin D supplements on lung function is looking for volunteers aged 18 to 65 years with asthma to take part in an ongoing study.  
 
Stephanie Watkins, Laboratory Technician and Human Nutrition PhD Student, is conducting the research alongside Dr Sohail Mushtaq and Dr Tanja Harrison from the University of Chester’s Clinical Sciences and Nutrition Department. 

Stephanie Watkins, Laboratory Technician and Human Nutrition PhD Student at the University of Chester.
Stephanie Watkins, Laboratory Technician and Human Nutrition PhD Student at the University of Chester.

Stephanie explained: “Current UK data shows that one in 12 adults are receiving treatment for asthma, with the UK having some of the highest rates in Europe.  

“Between 30 and 40 per cent of the general UK’s population are classed as vitamin D deficient during the winter. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the development of immune-related disorders including asthma.  

“Reduced vitamin D levels impair lung function, increase irritation of the airways and reduce responses to some steroid medications, suggesting vitamin D levels may also influence asthma treatment. 

“The aim of the study is to determine the effect of daily vitamin D supplementation for 12 weeks in adults with asthma.” 

The measured outcomes will include lung function, asthma control, levels of inflammation and vitamin D levels at baseline, six weeks and 12 weeks.  

Stephanie added: “We are expecting that daily vitamin D supplementation will improve lung function, asthma control and vitamin D levels, while also facilitating an anti-inflammatory response.” 

Participants in the study would be required to attend three appointments lasting 30 minutes at the University of Chester’s, Exton Park (Parkgate Road) buildings where they will undergo a lung function test, complete a questionnaire and provide a venous blood sample. 

Participants would then be required to take one tablet per day for 12 weeks containing either 5,000 IU vitamin D or a placebo.  

The study has been approved by the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences Research Ethics Committee and on completion of the study, participants will receive a £20 love2shop voucher.  

The deadline to apply is December 20th, 2021. If you would like to participate, contact Stephanie Watkins at vitdas@chester.ac.uk