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A Balanced Diet can Keep Asthma, Wheezing at Bay in Teens

were white, one third was overweight, and 72 percent did not consume multivitamins. Also, nearly 25 percent reported smoking on a daily basis.

Researchers also found that at least one third of the students' diets were below the recommended levels of fruit, vegetable, vitamins A and E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acid intake.

"Vitamin supplements can help teens meet their daily recommended levels and surprisingly, even relatively low levels of omega-3 fatty acids appeared to protect teens from higher reported respiratory symptoms," said Dr. Burns.

Results showed that low dietary intakes of fruit, vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids were associated with decreased lung function and a greater risk of chronic bronchitic symptoms, wheeze, and asthma.

These risks were further increased among students with the lowest intakes and who also smoked.

"The most important thing to remember is that diet can have a significant impact on teens' respiratory health. I would encourage them to make healthy eating a part of their daily routine, and stress to them that smoking is bad," Dr Burns said.

Researchers emphasized that fresh fruits make for convenient snacks.

The study is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).


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