Asthmatics who are vitamin D deficient are 25% more likely to have an asthma attack according to a new study from Tel Aviv University.

Several studies have been conducted on the links between vitamin D and asthma, some suggesting there’s a strong link between the two, and others casting doubt that there’s a link at all. According to Dr. Ronit Confino-Cohen, one of the authors on this new study, “Most of the existing data regarding vitamin D and asthma came from the pediatric population and was inconsistent. Our present study is unique because the study population of young adults is very large and ‘uncontaminated’ by other diseases.”

For its study, Tel Aviv University looked at more than 21,000 asthmatics between the ages of 22 and 50 who had their vitamin D levels measured by their healthcare provider. Even after accounting for other asthma risk factors, including smoking, obesity, and other chronic illnesses, the researchers found that those with low vitamin D levels were 25% more likely to have an asthma attack.

“Our results support a recommendation for screening of vitamin D levels in the subgroup of asthma patients who experience recurrent exacerbations. In those with vitamin D deficiency, supplementation may be necessary,” said Dr. Confino-Cohen.

These recommendations contradict a study from earlier this year which found that vitamin D supplements don’t improve asthma symptoms. Hopefully, we’ll find a clearer answer in the future as scientists continue to debate this issue and test the effectiveness of vitamin D supplements for asthmatics.