Asthma Management Handbook
Close window

Table. Effects of dietary strategies in asthma management

Class Ingredient or agent Effects
Elements Sodium restriction Ineffective
Oral magnesium supplementation

Conflicting findings reported in small trials

Overall, long-term use (300–450 mg/day) not shown to improve asthma control
Selenium supplementation Ineffective (100 microg/day)
Vitamins Vitamin B6 supplementation

Conflicting evidence

Overall, 200–300mg/day pyridoxine not shown to be effective for asthma management
Vitamin D supplementation
Overall, not shown to be effective for asthma management
500 IU cholecalciferol for 6 months reported to reduce flare-ups associated with infections
Limited evidence
Vitamin C supplementation

Not shown to be effective for asthma management

Limited evidence
Other Lactobacilli supplementation Ineffective
Caffeine

Bronchodilation at high doses (approximately equivalent to 3 cups coffee)

Impractical as asthma therapy due to adverse effects
Fish oil supplementation

Ineffective

(Does not apply to dietary fish)
Diets High-antioxidant-rich diet May help reduce the risk of asthma exacerbations and improve lung function (5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day)
Low-sodium diet Ineffective

Sources

Hasselmark L, Malmgren R, Zetterström O, Unge G. Selenium supplementation in intrinsic asthma. Allergy 1993; 48: 30-6. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8457023

Paul G, Brehm JM, Alcorn JF et al. Vitamin D and asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012; 185: 124-32. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3297088/

Pogson ZE, Antoniak MD, Pacey SJ et al. Does a low sodium diet improve asthma control? A randomized controlled trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178: 132-8. Available from: http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.200802-287OC

Rowe BH, Camargo CA. The role of magnesium sulfate in the acute and chronic management of asthma. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2008; 14: 70-6. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18043278

Shaheen SO, Newson RB, Rayman MP et al. Randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of selenium supplementation in adult asthma. Thorax 2007; 62: 483-90. Available from: http://thorax.bmj.com/content/62/6/483.long

Sur S, Camara M, Buchmeier A et al. Double-blind trial of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in the treatment of steroid-dependent asthma. Ann Allergy 1993; 70: 147-52. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8430923

Thien FCK, De Luca S, Woods RK, Abramson MJ. Dietary marine fatty acids (fish oil) for asthma in adults and children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002; Issue 2. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001283/full

Welsh EJ, Bara A, Barley E, Cates CJ. Caffeine for asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010; Issue 1. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001112.pub2/full

Wood LG, Garg ML, Smart JM et al. Manipulating antioxidant intake in asthma: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96: 534-43. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22854412

Last reviewed version 2.0

Back to top

Asset ID: 56