Asthma severity not linked to dietary micronutrients





Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Asthma
Professional Data: Asthma


Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects a person's essential ability to breathe. Asthma can be caused by a variety of stimuli. A particular stimulus will cause the airway to respond inappropriately in a person with asthma. The bronchial tubes will spasm and swelling and inflammation of those airways result in the symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate. Symptoms usually occur during the first five years of life in 65 percent of the patients. More than 14 million Americans are estimated to have asthma, which accounts for 3 million emergency room visits a year.1 Asthma is a very serious disease as it is estimated that there are more than 6,000 asthma related deaths per year in the Untied States.2
Because little is known about micronutrient and antioxidant intake and asthma severity, a group of Spanish researchers investigated dietary intake and blood levels of micronutrients and antioxidants in a group of asthma patients with various degrees of severity, and compared the results with healthy subjects. The group reported that neither the dietary intake of micronutrients and antioxidants nor the blood level of such agents appears to have any significant association with asthma or its severity. The researchers conducted a case-control study of 118 asthmatics, divided into four groups according to disease severity, and 121 healthy controls. Dietary intake and blood levels of vitamins C, E, and A and selenium, magnesium, and zinc were assessed. No difference was seen between asthmatics and healthy controls in daily dietary intake or blood levels of micronutrients and antioxidants. In addition, there was no significant relationship between such levels and disease severity, and no significant differences between groups of asthmatics.3


1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education Research. 1999.
2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education Research. 1999.
3. Picado C, Deulofeu R, Lleonart R, et al. Dietary micronutrients/antioxidants and their relationship with bronchial asthma severity. Allergy. Jan 2001;56:43-49.