Some scientists believe that asthma and vitamin deficiencies are related. Certain vitamins—especially vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E—are thought to play a role not only in the development of asthma, but also in the severity and frequency of asthma attacks.
This article explores the link between asthma and vitamin deficiency, and whether vitamin supplementation has any effect on the risk or severity of this common inflammatory airway disease.
How Asthma and Vitamin Deficiencies Are Linked
The link between asthma and vitamin deficiencies is largely hypothetical. The hypothesis is based on the long-standing assumption that asthma is more common in countries that consume a Western diet (rich in refined sugar, fat and processed foods) than those that rely on real foods (such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains).
In turn, because the Western diet is associated with an increased risk of vitamin deficiencies, many experts have concluded that vitamin deficiencies are central to asthma.
Current evidence does not support this theory.According to 2015 published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, There is no clear association between Western diet and adult asthma incidence.
Having said that, the researchers concluded that there may be a link between the Western diet and the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms. Whether this is simply due to vitamin deficiencies is unknown. Further research is required.
Currently, there is no evidence that a Western diet increases the risk of asthma. However, there is some evidence that a Western diet may increase the severity or frequency of asthma attacks.
How to Prevent and Control Asthma Attacks
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is produced in the skin after exposure to sunlight. It is also found in dairy and other foods. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and also helps boost the immune response.
Foods rich in vitamin D include:
Many studies have shown a link between vitamin D and asthma, although the quality of the studies is generally poor.
A review of research published in 2017 staphylococcus It has been shown that vitamin D can be effective as a complementary therapy for asthma patients.What the researchers can’t say is that how Vitamin D is designed to affect asthma symptoms.
Likewise, a 2017 review Clinical treatment It has been reported that low levels of vitamin D correspond to higher rates of asthma exacerbations. Even so, there is no evidence that vitamin D supplements prevent or treat asthma.
Although some studies suggest that vitamin D supplements may benefit people with asthma, the evidence to support this claim is weak. There is no evidence that vitamin D protects against asthma.
How Vitamin D Deficiency and Allergies Are Linked
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits. It’s touted as a defense against the common cold.
The richest food sources of vitamin C include:
- Bell peppers
- green leafy vegetables
Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that may benefit people with asthma. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize oxygen-containing molecules called free radicals, which can cause long-term damage to cells.
It is thought that by reducing oxidative stress in the lungs, airway hypersensitivity – a core feature of asthma – may be reduced.
To date, there is little evidence to support this claim.Although some research suggests that vitamin C may decrease bronchoconstriction (narrowing of the airways) After extreme exercise, there is no real evidence that it prevents or treats exercise-induced asthma or any other form of asthma.
There is no strong evidence that vitamin C prevents airway allergies or bronchoconstriction that lead to asthma attacks.
Risk factors for asthma attacks
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin found in nuts, seeds, oils, and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin E is important for the health and function of the eyes, brain, skin and reproductive organs.
The best food sources of vitamin E include:
- Almonds and other nuts
- olive oil
- shellfish, such as shrimp
- Sunflower seeds and other seeds
Like vitamin C, vitamin E has antioxidant properties that may benefit asthmatics. Even so, most evidence linking asthma to vitamin C is weak.
Posted in 2013 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine There is no conclusive evidence that vitamin E has any effect on the severity, frequency, or prevention of asthma attacks.
But there is evidence that high doses TocopherolIs the main form of vitamin E and may impair lung function and increase airway hypersensitivity in patients with allergic asthma.
There is no evidence that vitamin E supplements prevent or treat asthma. In fact, high doses of tocopherols (the main form of vitamin E) may increase the risk of attacks in people with allergic asthma.
What type of asthma do you have?
Although asthma sufferers often experience vitamin deficiencies, There is no evidence that they “cause” asthma. More often, vitamin deficiencies indicate poor health and may increase a person’s susceptibility to infections, allergies, and other common asthma triggers.
2017 in review Expert review of respiratory medicine It concluded that, based on the current study, “there is insufficient evidence to support that vitamins C, E or D help reduce asthma attacks (exacerbations).”
That’s not to say vitamin supplements don’t have any benefits. Many vitamins can reduce the risk of viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, which can trigger asthma attacks. This is no small matter, given that 44% of asthma attacks are thought to be related to a viral respiratory infection.
Current evidence does not support the use of vitamin C, vitamin D, or vitamin E supplements to treat or prevent asthma attacks.
Vitamin deficiencies are common in asthmatics. Some experts believe that these deficiencies are associated with an increased risk of asthma. Others believe that vitamin supplements can help reduce the frequency or severity of asthma attacks. The most frequently mentioned deficiencies are vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
To date, there is no strong evidence that vitamins can prevent or treat asthma. Conversely, overuse of tocopherol, the main form of vitamin E, may increase the risk of attacks in people with allergic asthma.
That doesn’t mean vitamins don’t have any benefits. Certain supplements can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold. Studies have shown that as many as 44% of asthma attacks are triggered by such infections.
If you decide to use a vitamin supplement for any reason, it’s important to understand that taking high doses carries certain health risks.
Taking too much vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, thirst, frequent urination, and kidney stones. Too much vitamin C can also cause nausea, diarrhea, and kidney stones. Excessive bleeding can result from excessive use of vitamin E supplements.
Talk to your healthcare provider before using any supplement to make sure it will not interact with any medications you are taking. As a general rule, never exceed the dosage on the product label. More is not necessarily better.
Which supplements can boost immune function?