Supplements and Asthma

A new study suggests that the combination of supplements omega-3, vitamin C and zinc, may improve the symptoms of childhood asthma. The findings of this randomized, double blind, placebo-self-controlled crossover trial were published in Acta Pædiatrica.* The study, led by Mohammed Al Biltagi from Tanta University in Egypt, adds to a growing body of science linking fish consumption and fruit and vegetable intakes to a reduction in the risk or asthma, or improvements in the symptoms associated with the condition. According to the American Lung Association, almost 20 million Americans suffer from asthma. Dr. Al Biltagi and his co-workers recruited 60 children, averaging 8 years old, with moderate persistent asthma. The children were randomly assigned to alternating phases of supplementation with omega-3, zinc, and vitamin C, either singly or in combination for six weeks. Research noted that omega-3 and zinc have anti-inflammatory effects. Zinc may also help regular the T-cell lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s allergy response. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and may counteract oxidant stress and reduce the external bacteria, virus and toxins in the lungs. Research showed that these three supplements had a significant improvement on the participants in their asthma control test, pulmonary function tests and pulmonary inflammatory markers.

*R. Lea, N. Colson, S. Quinlan, J. Macmillan, L. Griffiths. “The effects of vitamin supplementation and MTHFR (C677T) genotype on homocysteine-lowering and migraine disability.” Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. In Press. 2009.

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