The Best Nutrients for Better Breathing

Although scientists aren't exactly sure why, it appears that a group of allergic problems, including asthma, eczema, and hay fever, often occur together. Fortunately, studies show that basic nutrients play a crucial role in reducing the incidence and severity of these conditions.

The Role of Vitamin D

Researchers from Costa Rica found that many people suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions were deficient in vitamin D, a vitamin supplied by the sun. Low levels of this vitamin were associated with more frequent hospital visits, increased severity of asthma, and higher levels of the allergy marker immunoglobulin E (IgE).

The Role of Vitamins A and C

Data analyzed from studies conducted over thirty years in England show that relatively low dietary intakes of vitamins A and C are associated with statistically significant increased odds of asthma and wheezing.

The Role of Folic Acid

According to research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, two studies of more than 8,000 people showed that those who consumed high levels of folic acid (a B vitamin) had lower levels of the IgE allergy marker, fewer reported allergies, fewer episodes of wheez-ing, and a reduced incidence of asthma. Those who consumed the lowest levels of folic acid had a 40 percent increase in risk of wheezing, a 30 percent higher risk of elevated IgE, and a 16 percent increase in risk of having asthma.

The Role of Synergy

Many studies have supported the importance of nutrient synergy in reducing asthma risk. For example, a trial published in the Egyptian nutrition publication Acta Paediatrica showed that consuming omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and zinc together was associated with significant improvements in asthma symptoms, lung function, and markers of inflammation in the lungs. While each nutrient alone also yielded benefits, the effects were much greater when the nutrients were consumed together.

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