Nutritional deficiencies linked to asthma

Dietary deficiencies could be the cause of rising asthma rates, UK research suggests.

Research has shown associations between salty snack consumption and video game viewing and asthma symptoms in young adolescents (Photograph: SPL)
Research has shown associations between salty snack consumption and video game viewing and asthma symptoms in young adolescents (Photograph: SPL)

Two papers identifying a link between nutritional intake and asthma have been published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The two studies suggest that dietary intervention could supplement traditional asthma medication and that good nutrition could prevent asthma from developing.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen found that the increasing levels of asthma in the population could be explained by a changing antioxidant intake, changes to vitamin D levels and an increasing ratio of n-6 to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption.

A study from Greece examined associations between salty snack consumption and TV or video game viewing and asthma symptoms in young adolescents.

The researchers found that there was a 4.8-times higher risk of having asthma symptoms when salty snacks were consumed more than three times per week. This association was even more prominent in children who watch TV or play video games more than two hours per day.

The study showed that asthma symptoms were less likely to occur in children who consumed a Mediterranean diet with a high content of vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals and olive oil.

Researcher Dr Graham Devereux commented: 'If shown to be efficacious, such a dietary intervention could be the basis for a low cost, safe public health intervention to rapidly reduce the prevalence of asthma in children and ultimately adults.'

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