8% of the people in the United States have asthma, and those who have it can certainly convince you of its annoying and sometimes dangerous symptoms. But there may be hope on the horizon yet. New research in Switzerland has revealed that the consumption of vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing bronchoconstriction, as in asthma.
Since vitamin C was first isolated in the 1930s, it has been proposed for the treatment of respiratory illnesses. Medical News Today says, “Dr. Harri Hemila reported his findings in the journal BMJ Open.”
After doing exercise the airways can sometimes severely narrow and cause symptoms, such as:
- Shortness of breath
Previously known as exercise-induced asthma, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction results in a decline of more than 10% in forced expiratory volume in 1 second, caused by exercise.
Close to 1 in 10 people suffer from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, it affects nearly half of all competitive winter sports athletes. Vitamin C has been found to reduce the risk of common cold among people dealing with a lot of physical stress. This indicated that it could also be beneficial to people undergoing a lot of physical exertion too.”
This new study used data gathered from three relevant randomized placebo-controlled trials to look at the effects vitamin C had on bronchoconstriction caused by exercise. Every single one of the trials revealed that vitamin C reduced FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline by over 50% following an exercise challenge test. “Dr. Hemilia said that given that the three trials resulted in positive outcomes, people should consider testing vitamin C on an individual basis to see whether it helps with any respiratory problems associated with exercise, such as cough or wheezing.”
There are also previous trials that found similar results. A review of placebo-controlled trials on Vitamin C and the common cold came to the conclusion that vitamin C may help people who are under heavy physical stress such as marathon runners and skiers and that this could reduce their risk of catching a cold.
29 trials involving 11,306 participants compared vitamin C with placebo and revealed that vitamin C intake had no effect on common cold incidence in the general population, however, the trials that proved vitamin C’s ability to reduce the risk of catching the common cold were those that were conducted among people who were under short-term physical stress and marathon runners.
“The authors of that study said that “the failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified, yet vitamin C may be useful for people exposed to brief periods of severe physical exercise.”
We’ve already been told from our childhood that vitamin C is a beneficial and necessary to our health, and we can already see from the pirate age that a lack of it causes scurvy(if that’s not enough to convince us to eat our fruits and vegetables, I don’t know what is,) but those who suffer from asthma or who exercise under great exertion will certainly benefit from this study.