A healthy diet containing more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals may help experience fewer asthma symptoms and better control of their condition, according to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Diets with better asthma outcomes are characterized by being healthier, with greater consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals whereas the unhealthy diets, with high consumption of meat, salt, and sugar, have the poorest outcomes.
Dr. Roland Andrianasolo and his associates conducted a study make more detailed and precise assessments of dietary habits and the associations between several dietary scores and asthma symptoms, as well as the level of its control.
The NutriNet-Sante study analyzed data from 34,776 French adults who answered a detailed respiratory questionnaire which included 28% of women and 25% having at least one asthma symptom. The number of symptoms experienced by all of the participants was measured using self-report data over a 12-month period.
To assess the control of the disease the researchers used a self-administered questionnaire, which evaluates asthma control over a four-week period. Measures such as the occurrence of its symptoms, use of emergency medication and limitations on activity indicated the level of its control.
Quality of diet was assessed based on three randomly collected 24-hour dietary records and each participant’s adherence to three dietary scores. Generally, the dietary scores all considered diets with high fruit, vegetable and whole grain cereal intake as the healthiest, while diets high in meat, salt and sugar were the least healthy. The researchers adjusted their analysis to consider other factors known to be linked with it, such as smoking and exercise.
The study found that:
- Men who ate a healthier diet had a 30% lower chance of experiencing asthma symptoms. In women with healthier diets, the chance of experiencing symptoms was 20% lower.
- For men with asthma the likelihood of poorly controlled symptoms was around 60% lower in those who had healthy diets and among women, the poorly controlled disease was 27% lower in those with healthy diets.
The study concluded that the results suggest a healthy diet may have a role in preventing the onset of asthma as well as controlling the disease in adults.
“This study was designed to assess the role of an overall healthy diet on asthma symptoms and control, rather than identify particular specific foods or nutrients. Our results strongly encourage the promotion of healthy diets for preventing the symptoms and managing the disease,” said Dr. Andrianasolo.
He explained,”A healthy diet, as assessed by the dietary scores we used, is mostly made up of a high intake of fruit, vegetables, and fiber. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are elements in a healthy diet that potentially lower symptoms. In contrast, the least healthy diets include high consumption of meat, salt and sugar, and these are elements with pro-inflammatory capacities that may potentially worsen symptoms of asthma.”
According to the authors, further study is warranted to confirm the observations but the findings provided evidence on the role of diet in asthma, and extend and justify the need to continually support public health recommendations on promoting a healthy diet.
For more reference log on to http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02572-2017
A similar study was published in the journal Respirology stating that the consumption of fast food may lead to increased likelihood of having asthma, wheeze, and several other allergic diseases.
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