The clinical effect of vitamin D supplementation combined with grass-specific sublingual immunotherapy in children with allergic rhinitis

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2016 Mar-Apr;37(2):105-14. doi: 10.2500/aap.2016.37.3921.


Background: An important issue in sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is how to improve efficacy.

Objective: To compare the clinical efficacy of SLIT with vitamin D supplementation with placebo in children with allergic rhinitis. Secondary end points included lung function, exhaled nitric oxide concentration, methacholine bronchial provocation test, and serum level of calcifediol (25[OH]D).

Methods: Fifty children, ages 5-12 years, sensitive to grass pollen, with allergic rhinitis (eight patients had concomitant asthma) participated in a 5-month prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Children received a 5-grass pollen sublingual 300 IR tablet with either vitamin D 1000 IU daily supplementation or placebo.

Results: When compared with the placebo group, SLIT plus vitamin D group therapy was more effective in the reduction of nasal symptoms (p = 0.04), asthma symptoms (p = 0.001), and the combined symptom-medication score (p = 0.001); there was no significant difference between the groups in medication and ocular scores. We observed a significant improvement of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (vitamin D group, p = 0.014; placebo group, p = 0.015) and the proportion of a person's vital capacity expired in the first second of forced expiration levels (vitamin D group, p = 0.004; placebo group, p < 0.001), within both groups, between visits. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide and provocative dose producing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 second results did not statistically significantly differentiate the study participants in terms of receiving SLIT along with vitamin D or placebo. We showed a significant increase in calcifediol in the SLIT plus vitamin D group as well as in SLIT plus placebo group.

Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation combined with grass-specific SLIT was more effective in the reduction of nasal and asthma symptoms. Vitamin D supplementation combined with SLIT provides an effective and well-tolerated new immunotherapy modality for treating children with allergic rhinitis. A 5-grass pollen sublingual 300 IR tablet was effective in both studied groups and also in children with comorbid mild asthma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poaceae / adverse effects*
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*


  • Allergens
  • Vitamin D