Micronutrient Synergy Can Help In Asthma
With slight seasonal variations, many people of all ages suffer from asthma attacks throughout the year. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases, affecting 7 million children and 32 million adults in the United States. Worldwide 235 million people have asthma and the related deaths reach 180,000 per year.
An asthma attack is marked by severe and recurrent bouts of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, the results of which can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating or even life-threatening disease. Approximately one in every 12 Americans suffer from asthma, the incidence of which has increased by 60% since the early 1980s. It is therefore not only the disease of an individual but a significant public health problem and a huge financial burden. According to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, the annual spending on asthma care is over $56 billion; this includes hospital visits, treatment costs and missed workdays. Nevertheless, in spite of such massive expenditure, conventional asthma treatment offers only symptomatic improvement.
There are multiple factors that can trigger an asthma attack; these include infection, inflammation and allergic reaction to pollutants. In response to such irritants, the smooth muscle cells lining the air passages (bronchi) contract and restrict the airflow, thus resulting in difficulty in breathing.
We investigated1 whether a specific mixture of micronutrients can affect the response of the human bronchial smooth muscle cells to different allergic stimuli such as histamine, bacterial proteins and inflammatory chemicals. We observed that the micronutrient mixture significantly inhibited contraction of the smooth muscle cells in all cases. The individual nutrients (including vitamin C, lysine, proline and others) each helped relax the smooth muscle cells. However, when combined their effect was greater than that of the individual components - thus signifying the importance of micronutrient synergy.
We also conducted a small pilot clinical trial2 in asthma patients (45-75 years old). These patients took a specific combination of micronutrients for a period of three months and were intermittently subjected to lung function tests. At the end of the three months all of the patients experienced increased lung capacity and many recorded almost double the lung capacity compared to their values before starting the trial.
Every year the first Tuesday of May is observed as the "World Asthma Day," which is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma to increase awareness and improve asthma care. The theme for this year's May 6th event is "You Can Control Your Asthma." Our results prove exactly that. With a simple micronutrient supplementation, millions of asthma sufferers can improve their asthma symptoms without any risk to their health or the high costs of pharmaceutical drugs.
- V. Ivanov et al., American College of Nutrition 45th Annual Meeting, Sept, 2005
- Cellular Health Communication, Vol 1, No. 1, 2001
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