Researchers in New York examined serum vitamin D levels in the blood of more than 3,100 children and adolescents and 3,400 adults.
No association was found between low vitamin D levels and allergies in adults, but the link was significant in children and adolescents.
Children and adolescents aged 1 to 21 with low vitamin D levels were at increased risk of having sensitivities to 11 of 17 allergens tested, including environmental and food allergies.
For example, children who had vitamin D deficiency, which was defined as less than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood, were 2.4 times more likely to have a peanut allergy than kids with sufficient levels, or 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood.
Children with low vitamin D levels also had increased risk of allergic sensitization to shrimp, dogs, cockroaches, ragweed, oak, ryegrass, Bermuda grass, and thistle.