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Low antioxidant intake linked to asthma
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It has been hypothesised that dietary changes associated with a westernised lifestyle may have contributed to the increase in asthma in the developed world. __Epidemiological evidence of an inverse association of dietary fruit intake with pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms suggests that dietary antioxidants may modify the development of respiratory disease in susceptible individuals. __Previous studies found that symptomatic asthma in adults is associated with a low dietary intake of fruit, the antioxidant nutrients vitamin C and manganese, and low plasma vitamin C levels. A new meta-analysis review also suggests that a low dietary intake of vitamin A and C increases the risk of asthma. __40 studies (up to November 2007) of asthma, wheeze, or airway responsiveness in relation to intakes and serum concentrations of vitamins A, C and E were included in this latest review. Dietary vitamin A intake was significantly (182µg/day) lower at in people with asthma compared to those without asthma; and vitamin A intake was 344µg/day lower in patients with severe asthma compared to those with mild asthma. __Lower serum levels of vitamin C were also associated with an increased occurrence of asthma. Vitamin E intake was generally unrelated to asthma status but was significantly lower in people with severe asthma compared to people with mild asthma. __These findings suggest that diet may be a potentially modifiable risk factor for the development of asthma. __Sources: Thorax April 2009 online; Thorax 2006;61;388-393.