Antioxidants Linked to Lower Asthma Risk




Antioxidants Linked to Lower Asthma Risk

By staff writers Posted on 12 February 2004

A large study of survey data on youths under 17 has shown that increases in intakes of antioxidants
serum beta-carotene, vitamin C, and the trace mineral selenium were associated with a lower risk of
asthma prevalence. The results were reported in the February 1, 2004, issue of the American Journal
of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Even stronger asthma associations for these antioxidants were found in subgroups of young people
exposed to passive smoke. Researchers studied U.S. national survey data on 6,153 young people four
to 16 years old. They found that serum vitamin E had little or no association with asthma, but an
increase in beta-carotene was associated with a 10% reduction in asthma prevalence in those not
exposed to smoke and a 40% reduction in those who were exposed to passive smoke. The pattern for
vitamin C was similar. An increase in selenium was associated with a 10-20% decrease in asthma
prevalence. In youths with passive smoke exposure, investigators found a 50% reduction in asthma
associated with selenium.

The study was conducted by Dr. Rachel N. Rubin and colleagues at Cornell University
(Ithaca, NY, USA).

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