Low vitamin intake linked to asthma – BMJ

A low intake of vitamins A and C could raise the risk of asthma, a team which reviewed 40 studies carried out over the past 30 years has reported in the British Medical Journal.

A media report on the research from the Times of London sums up the findings. The British Science Media Centre wrapped up comment from UK-based experts.

Leanne Male, Assistant Director of Research at Asthma UK, said:

“Asthma UK welcomes this comprehensive review, as it provides further insight into the association between vitamins A, C and E and asthma development and severity. However the jury is still out as to how exactly vitamin intake and asthma are related, and how vitamins might be able to help the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma.

“Until further clinical trials have been carried out to establish the exact role of vitamins in both the development of asthma and treatment of asthma symptoms, we would advise that everybody eats a healthy balanced diet, especially if they have a history of asthma and allergies in their family, or are pregnant.”

Glenys Jones, Nutritionist, MRC Human Nutrition Research, said:

“The data provided is interesting, but inconclusive of low vitamin A & C intake increasing asthma risk, as there are many factors such as smoking, physical activity and socio-economic status that have not been taken into account. Therefore more research is required to investigate a causal relationship. This research does however support the consistent advice of following a good, balanced diet, as poor quality diets of limited variability are associated with lower nutrient intakes.”