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Vitamin C, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids may help asthma

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Vitamin C, mineral zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids help asthma

A study in Acta Paediatrica suggests that supplementation of vitamin C, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids helps asthma patients.

Bronchial asthma is caused by chronic inflammation in airways and nutritional intervention is known to decrease the severity of many chronic inflammatory disease including asthma, according to researchers at Mohammed Al Biltagi of Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.

The researchers found  supplementation of vitamin C, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids supplements improved  childhood asthma control test, pulmonary function tests, and sputum inflammatory markers in children with moderately persistent asthma.

The study involved 70 asthma patients who took supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and Zinc either singly or in combination in a series of continuous dietary intervention phases with each followed by a washout phase.  Evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study were childhood asthma control test, pulmonary function tests and sputum inflammatory markers.

Combined supplementation of vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc was found more effective in improving asthma condition than each individual supplement.

The researchers concluded "Diet supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, Zn (zinc) and vitamin C significantly improved asthma control test, pulmonary function tests and pulmonary inflammatory markers in children with moderately persistent bronchial asthma either singly or in combination."

This article has been retracted recently due to unintentional errors in the analysis as claimed in the retraction statement. However, these nutrition supplements vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA found in fish oil and zinc supplements cause no harm when used in an adequate dose.  Theoritically, they should help asthma.  Parents may give it a try because chilren need these nutrients anyway.

Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C are very safe to use.  The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is 3 mg per day for children aged 1 to 3 years, 5 mg per day for children aged 4 to 8 years, 8 mg per day for children aged 9 to 13 years, and 11 mg per day for those aged 14 years or older.  Pregnant women aged 18 years and younger need 12 mg per day and those age  19 years or older need 11 mg per day.  Women who breast feed need 12 to 13 mg per day.

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