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Allergic rhinitis (AR), also known as hay fever, is a group of symptoms affecting the eyes and nose that are associated with an allergic response to particles such as dust, pollen, and animal dander. Symptoms are often associated with seasonal allergies, but can also be suffered year-round. Between 10-30% of the population world-wide suffers from AR.

What can be done to address AR symptoms?

Symptoms of AR often include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, and watery, itchy eyes. People with AR often rely on antihistamine medications to decrease their symptoms, such as Zyrtec (cetirizine), Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Claritin (loratadine).

Researchers in Germany recently published findings from a double-blind controlled clinical trial showing the combined effect of one of these antihistamine medications (Cetirizine) with vitamin D supplementation. They enrolled 80 adults with confirmed allergies who also presented with vitamin D deficiency (defined as 10-20 ng/ml). Participants answered a questionnaire to rate the severity of symptoms; all participants were given cetirizine, while half received 50,000 IU of vitamin D on a weekly basis, and the other half received a placebo.

What did the study find?

The mean vitamin D serum level for all participants at baseline was around 14 ng/ml. After 8 weeks of treatment, the group receiving medication plus vitamin D had a mean serum level of 24 ng/ml and experienced a significant decrease in AR symptoms, especially runny, itchy nose, sneezing, and post-natal drip, compared to the medication only group who received no vitamin D and had a final mean vitamin D serum level of 15 ng/ml.

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By the end of the 8 weeks of treatment, the medication only group experienced an 8% decrease in AR symptoms, while the group who received medication plus vitamin D experienced a 29% reduction in symptoms.

Are you deficient in vitamin D?

Testing your vitamin D level regularly and taking daily steps to keep it at a target level of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) is important for all stages of health. Find out your levels today! Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

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How can I track my vitamin D intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!