Monday, September 10, 2012

Can soup help fend off asthma? Clinical trials of “super soup” underway

Those of us impacted by asthma are always on the look-out for the latest research. This story comes via the BBC where they report that scientists are going to begin clinical trials to determine if eating more foods rich in vitamin E during pregnancy prevents childhood asthma.

The women in the trial will eat "super soups" that have been formulated to be naturally high in vitamin E, which has been linked to good lung growth in a developing foetus.

The trial was prompted by research into the impact of diet and the incidence of asthma in children up to the age of five.

"We were able to show, for the first time, that children born to mums with a lower vitamin E intake during pregnancy were more likely to develop asthma by the age of five and have poor lung function," Prof Graham Deveraux told the BBC.

The next challenge for the researchers was to show that adding the vitamin could have an impact, but they didn’t want to do it with pills.

"Most people get their vitamin E from food…I wondered whether it might be the other nutrients that go with vitamin E in food that may be responsible for the effect. There may be interactions between vitamin E and the other nutrients. So, I was very keen to do a dietary intervention rather than a pill or a potion."

The team plans to test the soups in a small pilot study involving 50 women. They will be enrolled during early pregnancy and asked to eat either enriched or normal soup three times a week.

"If we're really lucky we might show that the children [born to women] receiving vitamin E enhancement may actually have better lung function," Prof Deveraux commented.

He later hopes to do a trial on 1000 women.


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