Micronutrient Synergy Can Help in Asthma
With the slight seasonal variations, many people of all ages suffer from asthma attacks throughout the year. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, affecting 7 million children and 32 million adults in the US. Worldwide 235 million people have asthma and the related deaths reach 180,000 per year.
An asthma attack is marked by severe and recurrent bouts of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, which can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating or life threatening disease. Approximately one in every 12 Americans suffer from asthma and the incidence has increased by 60% since the early 1980s. Therefore, it is not only the disease of an individual, but has become a public health problem and a huge financial burden. According to the Centers of Disease Control, the annual spending on asthma care is over $56 billion, which includes hospital visits, treatment costs, and missed workdays. In spite of such massive expenditure, asthma treatment offers only symptomatic improvement.
There are multiple factors that can trigger an asthma attack such as, infection, inflammation, and allergic reaction to pollutants. In response to such irritants, the smooth muscle cells lining the air passages (bronchi) contract which restricts the airflow and results in difficulty in breathing.
We investigated1 whether a specific mixture of micronutrients can affect the response of the human bronchial smooth muscle cells to different allergic stimuli such as histamine, bacterial proteins, and inflammatory chemicals. We observed that the micronutrient mixture significantly inhibited contraction of the smooth muscle cells in all the cases. The individual nutrients (including vitamin C, lysine, proline, and others) helped relax the smooth muscle cells. However, when combined their effect was greater than the individual components, signifying the importance of micronutrient synergy.
We also conducted a small pilot clinical trial2 in asthma patients (45-75 years old). These patients took a specific combination of micronutrients over three months and were intermittently subjected to lung function tests. At the end of three months, all of the patients experienced increased lung capacity and many recorded almost double the lung capacity than their values before starting the trial.
Every year, the first Tuesday of May is observed as the “World Asthma Day,” which is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma to increase awareness and improve asthma care. The theme for this year’s May 6thevent is "You Can Control Your Asthma." Our results prove exactly that. With a simple micronutrient supplementation, millions of asthma sufferers can improve their asthma symptoms without a health risk and the high cost of pharmaceutical drugs.
1.V. Ivanov et al., American College of Nutrition 45th Annual Meeting, Sept, 2005
2.Cellular Health Communications Vol 1, No. 1, 2001