Will adding a vitamin C supplement help ease the symptoms of sports induced asthma? This month’s Did You Know link-up will explore the answer!
Good morning Friday folks!
How’s that Friday morning air treating you?
It’s hard to believe it’s already November! That pretty much means that Christmas is like next week. At least it feels that way, especially since I haven’t done ANY shopping yet. Gah!
Let’s not forget just a week ago I was donning socks with witch heads…
Where were we? Ah, yes. It’s November. And it’s Friday. Who you gunna call??
Ghostbusters. Pizza cuz I ain’t cooking. Outta work.
It’s time for our monthly Did You Know link-up!
This month, I’m addressing something that I’m both interested and affected by. Training for my first half, and running in the colder air has shown me just how much my lungs hate me.
Okay, I’m dramatic but I definitely have noticed more trouble breathing, flem, and wheezing when I try to push myself, which is both annoying and a little scary.
While I have not been diagnosed officially with exercise induced asthma, the symptoms I feel has at least encouraged me to find a way to alleviate them and improve my running.
And one of the ways I heard was with vitamin C.
So I went off to look at some of the research to find out,
Does Vitamin C help exercise induced asthma?
First off, let me define and differentiate two different conditions that I found were included in the articles I looked at.
Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) : “a narrowing of the airways in the lungs that is triggered by strenuous exercise. It causes shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and other symptoms during or after exercise.” (Mayo Clinic)
I found that the term “asthma” was used for those who already have asthma from other triggers such as mold, pet dander, grass, etc, and get symptoms and triggers from exercise. For those WITHOUT regular cases of asthma, the term that was used was
Exercised-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB)
So if we’re being technical here, I think I would fall under the EIB category. The same definition, just no regular diagnosis of asthma.
So what’s the research say?
Well there was a few different answers, so I’ll break it down for you.
Article #1: Archive of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 1997
20 participants with asthma ages 7-28 took either 2000 mg of vit. C or a placebo 1 hour before exercising, then measured their lung capacity output.
9 of the participants showed a protective effect of vitamin C on lung air output, and 4 continued treatment after the study.
Conclusion: Small, old study, but showed some potential for improvement. This was only done with people who had asthma though. What about us EIB folks?!
enter article deux.
Article #2: BMJ Open, 2013
Analyzed three studies, 40 participants in total. Overall found a 48% reduction in post-exercise symptoms of lung output. (aka could breathe better) when vitamin C was taken before exercise.
Conclusion: Another small study group, and amount of vit. C administered were not given, but showed significant improvements for EIB.
My input? Overall, it looks like vitamin C can play a part in relieving some of the symptoms of both EIA and EIB, and frankly wouldn’t do much harm in trying. Want to know the hypothesis behind why it works? I thought you’d never ask!
**Nutrition nerd alert!**
EIA or EIB is thought to trigger pro-inflammatory cells to proliferate, increasing inflammation and thus mucus buildup and obstruction to the air pathways. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which can decrease inflammation and thus improve symptoms.
Since I have not been diagnosed, and also like to use nutrition whenever possible over medication, I’m gunna give it a go.
I plan on testing it out before my long run of 9 miles this Sunday with a packet of Emergen-C. While the studies mostly tested with 1500-2000 mg, I’m gunna chance it with the 1000, unless I really feel like downing 2 glasses of the stuff.
One thing I like is that it also has some electrolytes and sugars in there which will help when it comes to running, all the while getting hydrated as well! My plan is to take it 1 hour before, and see how it works. Stay tuned for my update!
I’ve also heard that omega-3’s and low-sodium diets are good for EIA, so if you’re interested those might be some other areas to check out. Thanks for stopping in for this one, and be sure to check out & link-up with all the other health-minded bloggers out there below!
Make it a great day!
Do you suffer from asthma or EIB? Have you heard of using Vitamin C ?
Have you started your holiday shopping yet?