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Asthmatic Adults Consume Less Fruit and Vitamin C

Half of asthmatics say they do not eat any citrus fruit

THURSDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with asthma consume fewer fruits and antioxidants such as vitamin C than their healthy counterparts, according to a study published in the May issue of Thorax. Diet may be a modifiable risk factor for asthma, the report indicates.

Nick J. Wareham, M.D., Ph.D., of the Elsie Widdowson Laboratory in Cambridge, U.K., and colleagues studied dietary information on 515 adults with asthma and 515 matched healthy controls.

Asthmatics consumed a median of 132.1 grams per day of fruit, compared to 149.1 grams per day for healthy controls. More than half of the asthmatics (51.5 percent) said they did not eat any citrus fruit. Eating more than 46.3 grams of fruit per day was associated with a lower asthma risk. The researchers also found lower intake of vitamin C and manganese were associated with asthma symptoms.

"Symptomatic asthma in adults is associated with a low dietary intake of fruit, the antioxidant nutrients vitamin C and manganese, and low plasma vitamin C levels," the authors write. "These findings suggest that diet may be a potentially modifiable risk factor for the development of asthma."

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