Vitamins & Supplements for Asthma – Do they work ?
The concept of taking vitamins and supplements for good health and to prevent or cure disease is attractive.
If popping in a vitamin pill or eating more or less of this or that can help in a disease, then what could be better !!
Diet certainly plays an important role in many diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and gout to name a few common ones.
But what about Asthma ?
Scientific studies in asthmatics have shown that asthmatics have a deficiency of the following in their blood/body :
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
They also have more salt (Sodium chloride) in their blood.
Thus it was logical to try to supplement the vitamin or mineral deficiencies in the asthmatics with the hope that it would, at least party, correct the asthma. But supplementation corrected the blood levels but did not help the asthmatic individual in his/her asthma.
Just to explain why this is so, let us take a more familiar example. That of Vitamin C and the common cold. Vitamin C deficiency is associated with lower immunity and more frequent common cold infections. For many years Vitamin C was prescribed for prevention and treatment of common colds. Now we know that it does not work. It is a waste of time and money.
There is no debate about the fact that vitamins are absolutely essential for good health and to keep away diseases. But the right vitamins, in the right proportions, along with other vitamins and minerals – as is available in fresh fruits and vegetables – is what is required and what works. The same vitamin in isolation in the form of a pill cannot replicate the good work.
Much has been written about the “ Mediterranean Diet. ” This is a diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil. Wherever this kind of diet is eaten, the incidence of asthma is less. But this benefit is observed over generations rather than in a given patient.
So what is the bottom line? Eat a good balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts (provided you are not allergic to nuts) and olive oil. Get adequate exercise and sun exposure. And don’t waste time, money and effort on vitamin pills.