Heart healthy = lung healthy, which I have to admit is surprising to me. I wouldn’t have thought they would be that connected. But the consensus now is that obesity and weight gain, both of which have been linked to heart disease, may increase the risk of asthma. There is no “home run” supplement for asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), but there are some interesting trials taking place that could be helpful for people who have trouble tolerating conventional medications.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it’s important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.
Home Remedies For Asthma
This Japanese herbal combination of gardenia fruit, licorice root, and cinnamon root is popular on the Internet. However, there are so many versions of it with different combinations of herbs that you don’t know what you’re getting and the risk exceeds the benefit. Researchers are testing it to reduce airway inflammation in asthma patients, so there may be some promising use in the future.
This extract from the French maritime pine tree may block some anti-inflammatory compounds (leukotrienes) at 200 milligrams per day.
Taking 500 milligrams per day could reduce hyperactive airways, but it shouldn’t be used as a treatment during exercise. And taking 1,000 milligrams daily may reduce steroid use without making symptoms worse.
It might help improve lung function in people with EIB, but the dosages used in studies were large (up to 5,000 milligrams per day).
However, other medications for EIB, such as montelukast, offer a more consistent benefit. And when both were used together, there was no additive effect, so they probably both work through the same pathways. If you have trouble tolerating conventional medications, this may be an option.
It may prevent asthma attacks during a viral upper respiratory infection.
Taking as much as 1,200 IU per day may reduce asthma attacks in schoolchildren who have very low levels of vitamin D. This is indirect evidence from clinical trials, but it’s impressive.
Good clinical research is suggesting this may have a preventive effect. Stay tuned!