Child asthma - can supplements help?
Saturday, 4 February 2017 | Editor
Helping Childhood Asthma with nutritional intervention
1 in 11 children and 1 in 12 adults suffer from asthma in the UK, with on average 3 deaths per day from the disease. It has become much more common to see children and adults dependent on inhalers usually containing dilator medication or anti-inflammatory steroids to help keep them breathing and alive.
Scientists are also looking at nutritional intervention as a way to reduce the severity of bronchial asthma without the side effects of long term medication. One study looked at omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C and zinc, all three of which are powerful anti-inflammatories. In addition, they are all needed to make healthy and elastic tissue. In the randomly assigned, placebo self-controlled study, 60 children with moderate persistent asthmas were given alternating phases of supplementation with either omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C or zinc, or a combination of these, with washout phases in between.
The results showed a significant improvement in all asthma markers, which included C-ACT (childhood asthma control test), pulmonary function tests and sputum inflammatory markers. Supplements taken singly each showed significant benefits, and even more so when they were taken in combination. Zinc levels have also been shown in a separate study to be deficient in children with asthma, and the worse the deficiency, the worse was the severity of their symptoms.
The key message here is not to underestimate the role of supplementation when it comes to chronic, life threatening conditions such as bronchial asthma. Indeed, they may prove a useful adjunct to treatment that make a real difference to both short and long term health.