A supplement containing a combination of fish oil, probiotics, and extracts from fruit and vegetables may improve lung function in young asthmatics, says a new study from Taiwan.
Children taking the multi-nutrient supplement also reported significant reductions in their use of short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, compared to placebo, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition .
“The present study is the first to combine multiple beneficial food components in the forms of food extract concentrates rather than pure synthetic compounds,” wrote the researchers.
“The present findings are superior to other studies investigating a single or multiple nutrient supplements, as not only did we demonstrate a reduction in the percentage and frequency of use of short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, but we also demonstrated that use of our fruit plus vegetable concentrate, fish oil and probiotics supplement significantly increased pulmonary function.”
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the number of people with asthma increases from year to year, with one in 12 Americans having the condition in 2009, or 8% of the US population, compared with only 7% in 2001.
In addition, more children have asthma (10%) than adults (8%), added the AAAAI.
The new study suggests that a multi-nutrient supplement may help asthma symptoms in children.
The Taiwanese scientists recruited 192 asthmatic children aged between 10 and 12 and randomly assigned them to receive the fruit plus vegetable concentrate, fish oil and probiotics supplement or placebo for 16 weeks.
The fruit and vegetable capsules (Schiff Nutrition Group, Inc.) contained a 400 mg concentrate derived from grapes, plums, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, cowberries, strawberries, artichokes, beets, carrots, broccoli, white cauliflower, kale, celery, spinach and tomatoes. Each fish oil capsule provided daily EPA and DHA doses of 230 and 125 mg (DSM Nutritional Products Limited), and the children received between three and five capsules per day depending on their body weight. The probiotic capsules contained 2 billion colony-forming units of L. salivarius PM-A0006 (ProMD Biotech Company).
Results showed that, after 16 weeks, the fruit plus vegetable, fish oil and probiotic group had significantly improved lung function measures and significantly reduced use of short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.
On the other hand, the Childhood Asthma Control Test score were not significantly different between the two groups, said the researchers.
“The reduction in medication use could help to avoid medication side effects and to reduce medical expenditure,” wrote the researchers.
“The present study suggests that a dietary pattern featuring adequate amounts of vegetables and fruit, fish and probiotic foods should be recommended in asthma prevention guidelines.”
Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, FirstView Articles, doi: 10.1017/S0007114512004692
“Reduced medication use and improved pulmonary function with supplements containing vegetable and fruit concentrate, fish oil and probiotics in asthmatic school children: a randomised controlled trial”
Authors: S-C. Lee, Y-H. Yang, S-Y. Chuang, S-Y. Huang, W-H. Pan