Vitamin Supplements for Asthma
Asthma is a disorder in which the airway becomes inflamed, resulting in wheezing, loss of breath, and tightness in the chest. During an attack, your airway becomes constricted and breathing is difficult. Symptoms of asthma attacks vary between individuals. People with chronic asthma also have inflammation in their lungs. The membranes lining the inner walls of the air passages become swollen and leaky. And the glands within these walls produce excess mucus.
Dietary counseling for asthma, especially in young children, may include testing for possible problem foods. But it doesn’t often include recommendations for vitamin or mineral supplements, experts say.
Vitamins that help asthma
Lycopene, an antioxidant related to beta-carotene and found in tomatoes, helps reduce the symptoms of asthma caused by exercising. In one double-blind trial, over half of people with exercise-induced asthma had significantly fewer asthma symptoms after taking capsules containing 30 mg of lycopene per day for one week compared to when they took a placebo.
Vitamin B6 deficiency is common in asthmatics. Vitamin B6 deficiency may be caused by Theophylline drugs, which are often taken by asthma sufferers. One study of children with asthma found that doses of 100 or 200 milligrams of B6 a day dramatically reduced the frequency, duration and severity of asthma attacks.
Vitamin B12 can be effective in reducing wheezing and improving breathing upon exertion in asthma sufferers.
People with asthma sometimes take supplements of vitamin Cbecause they believe in its legendary virus-fighting powers. There’s some proof that vitamin C does indeed reduce the duration and severity of colds, an important benefit for people with asthma, whose symptoms often worsen with respiratory infections.
This essential mineral helps reduce inflammation by stabilizing immune cells–mast cells and T lymphocytes–so that they are less likely to break down and dump their irritating contents in the lungs.