Natural Dietary Help for Asthma


Living with Asthma is a constant drain on the health of one in 7 adults and one in 5 children in New Zealand[1]. The use of various inhalers brings some relief but do not treat the underlying cause of asthma. In my naturopathic practice I have over the years been able to help many people with this debilitating condition through changes in diet, herbal medicine, homoeopathy and other natural interventions.


Change your diet

Avoid: Sweet foods, Refined Foods, Salt , Fast Foods, Processed foods, Alcohol


Changes in diet are almost always called for. Start by removes all sugars from your diet, by this I mean anything very sweet; sugar, lollies, cakes , biscuits, muffins, juice(unless homemade), and canned drinks. Also take out any refined grains; this means white bread, white pasta, white rice. Recent research has shown that these are association with inflammation in the body including the inflammation that of your airways which happens in Asthma[2, 3]. Next avoid all fast food, another study showed the more fast food you eat the more asthma attacks you are likely to have[4]. Stop adding salt to your food and avoid processed food which are very likely to be high in salt[5].


Include More

Increase your vegetables and fruit you desperately need the fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Selenium and Magnesium that are found in them so go for it half a plate of veggies once if not twice a day and a few pieces of fruit in between [6, 7] Yes you will be able to eat all that as you wont be filling up on the lollies, and cakes and processed food.

Alcohol is another item to cut out if you really want to help stop that horrible wheeze[8]


Allergy and Sensitivity


It may well be that certain foods or things you breathe in may trigger your symptoms[8]. These do vary for each individual, but most naturopaths have found that dairy products are a common culprit in increasing the mucous and triggering asthma.


Important  Nutrients to help


A study in 2010 showed mild to moderate asthma sufferers who took a magnesium supplement over 6 months had improvement in the measurements of severity of asthma and their quality of life [9]

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D have been found children with asthma and make it more likely that their symptoms will become worse[10] especially during exercise[11]. In adults too, a lack of Vitamin D can make increase asthma symptoms, supplementation can raise vitamin D levels and improve symptoms[12].

High quality Fats omega 3

Supplementation of omega 3 fats has been shown to help asthmatics and decrease inflammation[13, 14]  During pregnancy it is particularly important to have enough omega 3 fats, the babies born to women who took fish oil during their pregnancy wre found on one study to have lees chance of developing asthma[15].

Eat more fish as it is an excellent source of omega 3 fats. The New Zealand Green lipped mussel is likely to be particularly helpful; when extracts if it were given to people with asthma the wheeze of asthma decreased and their peak flow(a measure to show indicate how well a person is breathing) improved[16]. A study in Japan found a higher intake of omega 3 fats in the diet was linked with lower inflammation levels.[17]

Enzyme Co Q10 Vitamin E and Vitamin C

People depending on steroid based medications to control their asthma have been found to have low levels of Enzyme coQ10 and vitamin E. After taking supplements of Enzyme Co Q10 Vitamin E and Vitamin C for 8 weeks they were able to reduce the dosage of corticosteroids, indicating lower incidence of potential adverse effects of the drugs,(and) decreased oxidative stress[18].


Stop Smoking

 If you smoke or are near smokers you will be much more likely to have asthma. Parents if your child is suffering you really do need to stop smoking[ 7] . Popping outside or leaning out of the window will still put your in danger. For help on stopping smoking read " Nutrition and Herbs Help to Stop Smoking ".


Problems with Heating

Check out your heating; un-flued gas heaters are the most likely to trigger asthma attacks and general ill health. A study in published in the British Medical Journal in 2008 found Installing non-polluting, more effective heating in the homes of children with asthma did not significantly improve lung function but did significantly reduce symptoms of asthma, days off school, healthcare utilisation, and visits to a pharmacist[19] Have a look at the article "Warm ways to boost your immunity " for ideas about keeping warm and healthy.


Avoid Paracetamol

Recent research warns against using paracetamol as it may increase the likelihood of asthma[21], this can not only when people take paracetamol which increases their own risk, but also if paracetamol is taken during pregnacy the baby has a greater chance of developing asthma as a child[20, 22].


Call 07 571 3226 now or contact Jaine  by email  to book your appointment


References Click of the links to see find out more about the research

1.  SouthernCross, H. Asthma - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment. 2008

2. Takemura, M., et al., High sensitivity C-reactive protein in asthma .Eur Respir J, 2006. 27(5): p. 908-912.

3.  Olafsdottir, I.S., et al., C reactive protein levels are increased in non-allergic but not allergic asthma: a multicentre epidemiological study . Thorax, 2005. 60(6): p. 451-454.

4. Wickens, K., et al., Fast foods; are they a risk factor for asthma? Allergy, 2005. 60(12): p. 1537-1541.

5. McKeever, T.M. and J. Britton, Diet and Asthma .Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., 2004. 170(7): p. 725-729.

6. Okoko, B.J., et al., Childhood asthma and fruit consumption.Eur Respir J, 2007. 29(6): p. 1161-1168.

7. Gunilla Nordin, F., et al., Association between diet, lifestyle, metabolic cardiovascular risk factors, and plasma C-reactive protein levels. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 2004. 53(11): p. 1436-1442.

8. Maintz, L. and N. Novak, Histamine and histamine intolerance.Am J Clin Nutr, 2007. 85(5): p. 1185-1196.

9.  Kazaks AG, Uriu-Adams JY, Albertson TE, Shenoy SF, Stern JS: Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on measures of airway resistance and subjective assessment of asthma control and quality of life in men and women with mild to moderate asthma: a randomized placebo controlled trial. J Asthma 2010, 47(1):83-92.

10.Brehm JM, Schuemann B, Fuhlbrigge AL, Hollis BW, Strunk RC, Zeiger RS, Weiss ST, Litonjua AA: Serum vitamin D levels and severe asthma exacerbations in the Childhood Asthma Management Program study . Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2010, 126(1):52-58.e55.

11.Chinellato I, Piazza M, Sandri M, Peroni DG, Cardinale F, Piacentini GL, Boner AL: Serum vitamin D levels and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in children with asthma. European Respiratory Journal 2011, 37(6):1366-1370.

12. Sutherland ER, Goleva E, Jackson LP, Stevens AD, Leung DYM: Vitamin D Levels, Lung Function, and Steroid Response in Adult Asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2010, 181(7):699-704.

13.Nagakura T, Matsuda S, Shichijyo K, Sugimoto H, Hata K: Dietary supplementation with fish oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in children with bronchial asthma. European Respiratory Journal 2000, 16(5):861-865.

14.       Mickleborough TD, Lindley MR, Ionescu AA, Fly AD: Protective Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation on Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction in Asthma *. Chest 2006, 129(1):39-49

15.       Olsen SF, Osterdal ML, Salvig JD, Mortensen LM, Rytter D, Secher NJ, Henriksen TB: Fish oil intake compared with olive oil intake in late pregnancy and asthma in the offspring: 16 y of registry-based follow-up from a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 88(1):167-175.

16.       Emelyanov A, Fedoseev G, Krasnoschekova O, Abulimity A, Trendeleva T, Barnes PJ: Treatment of asthma with lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a randomised clinical trial. European Respiratory Journal 2002, 20(3):596-600.

17.       Kentaro M, Satoshi S, Yoshiko T, Kazuhiro U, Mitsuyo Y, Hitomi H, Toshinao G, Jun O, Keiko B, Kazuko O et al: Total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein in young Japanese women . 2008, 28(5):309-314.

18.       Gvozdjakova A, Kucharska J, Bartkovjakova M, Gazdikova K, Gazdik FE: Coenzyme Q10 supplementation reduces corticosteroids dosage in patients with bronchial asthma . BioFactors 2005, 25(1-4):235-240.

19. Howden-Chapman, P., et al.,Effects of improved home heating on asthma in community dwelling children: randomised controlled trial . BMJ, 2008. 337(sep23_1): p. a1411-.

20. Rebordosa C, Kogevinas M, Sorensen HT, Olsen J: Pre-natal exposure to paracetamol and risk of wheezing and asthma in children: A birth cohort study . Int J Epidemiol 2008, 37(3):583-590.

21. Shaheen S, Potts J, Gnatiuc L, Kowalski ML, Joos G, van Zele T, van Durme Y, De Rudder I, Wohrl S, Godnic-Cvar J et al: The relation between paracetamol use and asthma: a GA2LEN European case-control study. Eur Respir J 2008:09031936.00039208.

22. Beasley R, Clayton T, Crane J, von Mutius E, Lai CKW, Montefort S, Stewart A: Association between paracetamol use in infancy and childhood, and risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children aged 6-7 years: analysis from Phase Three of the ISAAC programme. The Lancet 2008, 372(9643):1039-1048