Cut asthma risk with antioxidants

A study by scientists at the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine in Slovakia found that people with asthma had lower levels of antioxidants than did healthy people. In this study, the levels of the antioxidants coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) were measured in 56 asthmatic people, aged 19 to 72 years. Those levels were compared to a control group of 25 non-asthmatic people, aged 25-50 years.

The researchers found that the asthmatic group had lower concentrations of CoQ10 and alpha-tocopherol, but not beta-carotene. The results suggested an association between antioxidants and asthma, leading researchers to recommend supplementation and further clinical evaluation.

In a similar study, researchers at the University of Southern California in LA investigated the possible relationship between children’s lung function and their intake of fruits, vegetables and juices. These foods provide beneficial dietary antioxidants.

Using data available from the Children’s Health Study 1997-1998, which involved about 2,566 children, the researchers found a distinct association between lower intake of fruits, vegetables and juices and an increased likelihood of poor lung capacity, poor lung function and asthma. Nutritionists recommend between 5 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, including at least one citrus fruit.

Sources: Bratisl Lek Listy. 2002;103(10):353-6; Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Sep 15;158(6):576-84