A recent study from the Department of Biochemical Science and Technology, College of Life Science at the National Taiwan University found a supplement containing fruits, vegetables, probiotics, and fish oil could actually work to treat asthma and reduce the dependence of asthmatic children on their prescription drugs.
The study involved 192 asthmatic children between the ages of 10 and 12. Participants were given a supplement that contained a fruit and vegetable concentrate, as well as probiotics and fish oil (known as a FVFP supplement). The control group was given a placebo. Results were analyzed at the eight and 16-week marks.
When compared with the placebo group, those receiving the supplement saw increased pulmonary function. According to the study abstract, “Results suggest that FVFP supplement may reduce medication use and improve pulmonary function in asthmatic children.”
If treating and preventing asthma could come down to fruit and vegetables consumption, could this tell us something about the cause?
In prior research from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC), an international team of researchers found that certain foods (namely fast foods) could lead to asthma as well as rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. While no direct cause and effect relationship could be drawn, researchers found that those children who eat the most fast food also have the highest incidence of asthma.
This same group also found that eating three or more servings of fruit each week cut the severity of asthma symptoms by about 14 percent in young children and 11 percent in teens.
An estimated 1 in 12 people in the United States have asthma. For children, the rate is 1 in 10. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these numbers are on the rise. From 2001 to 2009, the number of those diagnosed rose by 4.3 million, with the greatest increase seen in black children (50%).
While the medical establishment is quick to throw an inhaler, steroids, and a warning against strenuous exercise at these patients, nothing is said about the prevention or natural treatments of the disease.
It’s hard to admit that what you’ve fed your child could be hurting them – that a steady diet of fries and chicken nuggets could have led them to a lifelong disease. But don’t fret; instead, changing your household approach to nutrition and diet could prove to improve if not reverse many of the asthma symptoms they have.