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Allergies & Asthma

Asthma & Allergies Complementary Support

Asthma is a chronic disease in which airway inflammation causes attacks of wheezing, coughing and breathlessness. The underlying causes of asthma, and the factors that trigger attacks, are under investigation.

The number of people with asthma and the death rate from this condition have been increasing since the late 1980s. Genetics, developmental factors and environmental triggers are all believed to play important roles in the development of asthma.

In addition to following your doctor's advice, there are a number of simple self-help options which may help to relieve the symptoms at any age.

Allergies, asthma

General Dietary Advice

Avoid Food Additives

Some asthmatics react to food additives, such as sulfites, tartrazine (yellow dye #5), and sodium benzoate, as well as natural salicylates (aspirin-like substances found in many foods). A doctor or an allergist can help determine whether chemical sensitivities are present.

Eat more Omega 3

Britain's consumption of fish (and therefore omega 3) has slumped in the last 30 years, whereas asthma has risen to "epidemic" proportions - some scientist believe that there may be a link between the decline of one and the rise of the other.

Also, according to Simopoulos, animal and clinical experiments have confirmed the anti-inflammatory activity of omega-3 fatty acids and point to the potential for therapeutic use of fish oil in the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggests that you should eat only one portion of fish per week as it can contain harmful dioxins. For people who dislike oily fish, or who want to increase their intake of Omega 3s can choose an ultra pure, high potency omega 3 such as like Omax3 which is The Ultra-Pure Omega-3 Supplement™,

A diet rich in Magnesium

  • Magnesium deficiency is often found in asthmatics (1).
  • In studies, a Magnesium injection immediately following the onset of an asthma attack has caused the attack to end within minutes.(2) This is due to the fact that Magnesium helps to prevent and stop muscle spasms. While oral dosage of Magnesium in the prevention of asthma has not been proven, it is probably beneficial. Care should be taken, however, by patients with kidney problems, as Magnesium can exacerbate these conditions.
  1. Haury VG. Blood serum magnesium in bronchial asthma and its treatment by the administration of magnesium sulfate. J Lab Clin Med 1940;26:34044.
  2. Skobeloff EM et al. Intravenous magnesium sulfate for the treatment of acute asthma in the emergency department. JAMA 1989;262:121013
  3. Brunner EH, Delabroise AM, Haddad ZH. Effect of parenteral magnesium on pulmonary function, plasma cAMP, and histamine in bronchial asthma. J Asthma 1985;22:311.
  4. Rolla G, Bucca C, Caria E, et al. Acute effect of intravenous magnesium sulfate on airway obstruction of asthmatic patients. Ann Allergy 1988;61:38891.
  5. Hill JM, Britton J. Effect of intravenous magnesium sulphate on airway calibre and airway reactivity to histamine in asthmatic subjects. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1996;42:62931.
  6. Bernstein WK, Khastgir T, Khastgir A, et al. Lack of effectiveness of magnesium in chronic stable asthma. A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in normal subjects and in patients with chronic stable asthma. Arch Intern Med 1995;155:2716.
  7. Rylander R, Dahlberg C, Rubenowitz E. Magnesium supplementation decreases airway responsiveness among hyperreactive subjects. Magnesium-Bulletin 1997;19:46.
  8. Hill J, Micklewright A, Lewis S, Britton J. Investigation of the effect of short-term change in dietary magnesium intake in asthma. Eur Respir J 1997;10:22259

A diet rich in Selenium

  • Selenium deficiency can greatly increase the risk of asthma.(1)
  • In studies, it has been shown to cause clinical improvement, though lung function tests do not appear to show the same results.(2)
  1. Stone J, Hinks LJ, Beasley R, et al. Reduced selenium status of patients with asthma. Clin Sci 1989;77:495500.
  2. Hasselmark L, Malmgren R, Zetterstrom O, Unge G. Selenium supplementation in intrinsic asthma. Allerg 1993;48:3036.
  3. Haury VG. Blood serum magnesium in bronchial asthma and its treatment by the administration of magnesium sulfate. J Lab Clin Med 1940;26:3404.

A diet rich in Vitamin B6

  • A lack of Vitamin B6 has been found in many asthma sufferers.(1) This may be due to the fact that the medications in many asthma inhalers interfere with the absorption of B6 by the body.(2) In mild to average cases, the addition of a B6 supplement to the diet appears to lessen the occurrence of asthma attacks.(3)
  1. Collipp PJ et al. Tryptophane metabolism in bronchial asthma. Ann Allergy 1975;35:15358.
  2. Weir MR et al. Depression of vitamin B6 levels due to theophylline. Ann Allergy 1990;65:5962.
  3. Sur S, Camara M, Buchmeier A, et al. Double-blind trial of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in the treatment of steroid-dependent asthma. Ann Allerg 1993;70:141-52.

A diet rich Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin B12, taken in large doses, can decrease likelihood that asthmatics react to foods with sulfites.
  1. Anibarro B et al. Asthma with sulfite intolerance in children: A blocking study with cyanocobalamin. J Allerg Clin Immunol 1992;90:1039.

Plenty of fresh fruit to get your Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant, is also helpful in the treatment of asthma.(1),(2) It appears to be most effective in patients with food allergies. Vitamin C, an antioxidant present in fruits and vegetables, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may influence the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C.(3)
  1. ZBucca C, Rolla G, Oliva A, Farina J-C. Effect of vitamin C on histamine bronchial responsiveness of patients with allergic rhinitis. Ann Allerg 1990;65:31114.
  2. Ruskin SL. Sodium ascorbate in the treatment of allergic disturbances. The role of adrenal cortical hormone-sodium-vitamin C. Am J Dig Dis 1947;14:3026.
  3. Forastiere F, Pistelli R, Sestini P, et al. Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. SIDRIA Collaborative Group, Italy (Italian Studies on Respiratory Disorders in Children and the Environment). Thorax 2000;55:2838.

Herbal Help with Ginkgo Biloba

  • Ginkgo has been shown to have potential use in the treatment of asthma. Studies using extracted ginkgolides have shown reduction of asthma symptoms.(1) Highly concentrated tincture of ginkgo leaf also has the same effect.(2) These studies show that the use of ginkgo is likely to be helpful in the treatment of asthma overall.
  1. Guinot P, Brambilla Dunchier J, et al. Effect of BN 52063, a specific PAF-ascether antagonist, on bronchial provocation test to allergens in asthmatic patientsa preliminary study. Prostaglandins 1987;34(5):72331.
  2. Li M, Yang B, Yu H, Zhang H. Clinical observation of the therapeutic effect of ginkgo leaf concentrated oral liquor on bronchial asthma. CJIM 1997;3:26467.

Changes in Diet

A vegan diet given for one year in conjunction with many specific dietary changes such as avoidance of caffeine, sugar, salt, and chlorinated tap water and combined with a variety of herbs and supplements led to significant improvement in one group of asthmatics. Although 16 out of 24 people who continued the intervention for the full year were much better and one person was actually cured, it remains unclear how much of the action was purely a result of the dietary changes compared with the many other therapies employed.

However, it should be noted that many of us enjoy meat, fish and dairy products and life wouldn't be the same without them. So it may be a case of moderation - especially towards "mucous" producing foods such as dairy products. It is also relatively easy to reduce caffeine (de-caf tastes the same as caffeine coffee, especially if you buy a quality brand) and it is recognised that the overuse of sugar or salt isn't healthy so it would be a good idea to reduce these in our diets as a general well-being move anyway (remember that processed foods tend to contain hidden salt & sugar at alarming levels).

Also wheat can produce allergies. A doctor or an allergist can help determine whether chemical sensitivities are present to particular foods and should be investigated in severe cases.

Whether you are asthmatic or not, eating a diet rich in freshly produced food including at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day will help improve your health & immunity to many common diseases.

  1. Lindahl O, Lindwall L, Spangberg A, et al. Vegan regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of bronchial asthma. J Asthma 1985;22:4555.

And Last but certainly NOT least
Sinus & Nasal Cleansing - Drug Free Relief for Asthma and Allergy Symptoms

EMCUR® Sinus & Nasal Care System is the UK's only Drug-Free alternative for sinusitis, rhinitis, allergies, hay fever and other nasal troubles.

If you have suffered for years from sinus or other nasal problems and are still not getting relief, it is time to start treating yourself with our unique and effective system.

How does it work?

The Emcur® Nasal Douche is a specially designed and moulded medical device for the cleansing of the nose and the sinuses with a drug-free isotonic saline solution made with the natural Emcur® Nasal Cleansing Salt. In simple terms, by washing the inside of the nose, you wash away potential allergens and improve the overall effectiveness of your own bodys air filter system - before things get to the chest. More>>

You should seek medical advice from a qualified practioner if you think that you may have asthma or any other respiratory disease. Supplements should not be used to replace a well balanced diet.


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