Asthma. If you’ve ever suffered from it, you know how uncomfortable and, at times, debilitating that it can be. Many people, even those who don’t normally deal with breathing difficulties, suffer from asthma caused by “too much” physical exertion, or “exercise-induced asthma.”
Many of these people had no idea how to deal with this problem without resorting to prescription pharmaceuticals, but, now, another way to deal with this malady has become known. What is it?
The latest research comes from researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland. David Gutierrez writes,
“The researchers carried out an analysis of several prior studies. In three of those studies, vitamin C was found to reduce the post-exercise decline of FEV1 by 50 percent. FEV1, or forced expiratory volume, is the amount of air that you can force out of your lungs in one second.
“Analyzing another five studies showed that respiratory symptoms decreased by 50 percent when people under short-term, heavy physical stress were given vitamin C. Yet another found that male adolescent competitive swimmers given vitamin C experienced a 50 percent decrease in the duration of exercise-induced respiratory symptoms.”
Discussing the findings, researcher Harri Hemila said,
“[G]iven the safety and low cost of vitamin C and the consistency of positive findings in the nine randomized trials on vitamin C against exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and respiratory symptoms, it seems reasonable for physically active people to test whether vitamin C is beneficial on an individual basis, if they have documented exercise-induced bronchoconstriction or suffer from respiratory symptoms such as cough or sore throat after taking vigorous exercise.”
Additionally, vitamin C appears to help people dealing with lung disease. Gutierrez again writes,
“Prior research has also indicated that vitamin C may improve muscle function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In COPD, lung function progressively worsens and the function of skeletal muscles degrades, making ordinary activities difficult or impossible.”
“A study conducted by researchers from the George E. Whalen VA Medical Center and the University of Utah and published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology found that COPD patients given intravenous vitamin C experienced less muscle fatigue following knee flex exercises. In addition, patients’ breathing slowed and improved, the antioxidant activity in their blood increased, and their resting blood flow and blood pressure decreased.”
The research seems clear that vitamin C can assist in helping many people breath easier. In light of this, if you are dealing with breathing difficulties, especially after exercise, consider increasing your vitamin C intake a several hours before exercising so that the vitamin C has time to get into your blood stream and to your lungs. Better yet, consider increasing your daily overall vitamin C intake so that your body has higher levels on an ongoing basis.