A number of recent studies have shown that improving diet can help people with symptoms of asthma. Let’s look at the research.
An April 2021 study in the The American journal of clinical nutrition (1) examined whether changes in diet quality are associated with changes in inflammatory markers important in asthma pathophysiology. In this exploratory study in patients with poorly controlled asthma were put on the DASH diet. The DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. You can learn more about portions and food types in this article from the Mayo Clinic.
The results of this research found that adult patients with poorly controlled asthma who took on dietary changes, like the introduction of DASH, may have beneficial effects on reducing inflammatory status common in asthma and respiratory distress.
Asthma, obesity, inflammation and diet
In March 2021 in the International journal of environmental research and public health (2) researchers assessed the challenges of asthma and diet and true recognition of the problem. They wrote:
“The prevalence of asthma has nearly doubled over the last decades. Twentieth century changes in environmental and lifestyle factors, including changes in dietary habits, physical activity and the obesity epidemic, have been suggested to play a role in the increase of asthma prevalence and uncontrolled asthma worldwide. A large body of evidence has suggested that obesity is a likely risk factor for asthma, but mechanisms are still unclear. Regarding diet and physical activity, the literature remains inconclusive. Although the investigation of nutritional factors as a whole (i.e., the “diet, physical activity and body composition” triad) is highly relevant in terms of understanding underlying mechanisms, as well as designing effective public health interventions, their combined effects across the life course has not received a lot of attention.”
What is being suggested is that common sense should tell us that poor diet, poor nutrition, body fat composition should play a role in asthma management but it is often overlooked by doctors In the people we see, overlooked consistently means overprescribed medications.
Asthma treatment: Diet, exercise or inhaled therapies?
It is hard to image that diet and exercises effects on asthma are often overlooked or downplayed. This is what is suggested by another March 2021 study (3)
“Inhaled therapies (tor example albuterol, epinephrine and levalbuterol) are the cornerstone of asthma treatment. However. . . non-pharmacological interventions should not be neglected in asthma. It has been demonstrated that a healthy diet is beneficial to general health. Recently, the effect of diet on asthma has been highlighted in many studies. Two diets have been particularly studied: the Mediterranean diet (high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat) and the Western diet (high in saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables). A beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet and deleterious (bad) effect of the Western diet on the development or control of asthma has been shown in some studies even after adjustment for overweight. Study findings have not been unanimous, probably related to the complexity of conducting studies on a diet that may change from day to day for any individual subject. In addition, the effect of physical exercise, which is known to be beneficial in asthma, is rarely taken into account in these studies.”
The steps of Nutrition in Asthma
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we utilize an extremely thorough series of blood and urine tests, along with other diagnostic techniques, to determine your individual levels of nutrients and vitamins, environmental toxins, intestinal flora and more. We have found that nearly everyone we examine has some degree of deficiency of an important nutrient, and in many cases, excesses of others that can lead to an imbalance. In addition, some patients may have high levels of one of more unhealthy substances.
Once we’ve identified a specific imbalance, we then take steps to remedy it through dietary modifications and oral and intravenous nutrients, depending on the individual case. This helps the body to heal itself of any current illness, while also helping prevent additional health problems in the future.
1 Nygaard UC, Xiao L, Nadeau KC, Hew KM, Lv N, Camargo CA, Strub P, Ma J. Improved diet quality is associated with decreased concentrations of inflammatory markers in adults with uncontrolled asthma. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2021 Apr 19.
2 Bédard A, Li Z, Ait-Hadad W, Camargo CA, Leynaert B, Pison C, Dumas O, Varraso R. The Role of Nutritional Factors in Asthma: Challenges and Opportunities for Epidemiological Research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021 Jan;18(6):3013.
3 Guilleminault L. Diet and asthma: Better eating for better breathing?. Revue des Maladies Respiratoires. 2021 Mar 3.