Study: Asthma symptoms could be lessened with high-fiber diet
While asthma patients can seek relief from their symptoms with drugs like Singulair, a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine has shown that high-fiber diets and gut health may have an effect on overall respiratory health.
While asthma patients can seek relief from their symptoms with drugs like Singulair, a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine has shown that high-fiber diets and gut health on overall respiratory health.
Vegetables and fruits that are high in fiber have shown to help fight a variety of immune-related illnesses, including Crohn's disease, colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome. Now scientists believe that inflammatory responses like asthma may also benefit from eating foods rich in soluble fiber - such as onions, pears, berries, apples and citrus fruits.
The link between fiber and inflammation
In animal models, scientists discovered that the fiber consumed in a pectin-rich diet sent signals to the immune system to help lungs become less irritated, even after being exposed to dust mites. In contrast, the mice with low-fiber diets were more likely to experience asthma-related symptoms. Although the scientists agree that more research needs to be done to see if a pectin-rich diet can help improve asthma symptoms in humans, this study is definitely an eye-opening discovery about how nutrition, immune response and asthma are connected.
"There's a very high probability it works in humans, the basic principle of fiber being converted to short-chain fatty acids is known." Dr. Benjamin Marsland, one of the researchers involved in the study, explained to the BBC. "But we don't know what amount of fiber would be needed and the concentrations of short-chain fatty acids required might be different. It is early days, but the implications ."
Benefits of Singulair and eating fiber