Watching Salt Intake Won¿t Ease Asthma

Cutting back on salt and following a low-sodium diet isn't likely to improve asthma symptoms , according to a
new study.

Previous studies had suggested that following a low-sodium diet may help
improve asthma control, but researchers
now say that advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

"We were disappointed that a simple measure, such as a decrease in
sodium intake, does not result in improvements in asthma control,"
researcher Zara E. K. Pogson, MRCP, clinical research fellow at the University
of Nottingham in England, says in a news release. "We therefore cannot
advise people with asthma to alter their sodium intake to better control their
asthma, despite the fact that a low-sodium diet improves cardiovascular risk
factors."

Diet and Asthma Control

Researchers say prior studies on low-sodium diets
and asthma control have produced inconsistent results or were too small.

In this study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and
Critical Care Medicine,
researchers compared the effects of a low-sodium
vs. normal-sodium diet on asthma control in nearly 200 adults with asthma for
six weeks. All of the participants followed a strict low-sodium diet and either
received sodium supplements equivalent to
normal sodium intake or a placebo.

After six weeks, researchers measured control of asthma symptoms and lung
function and found no significant differences between the two groups despite
the difference in sodium intake.

Researchers say the results suggest that a low-sodium diet provides no
additional benefits in improving asthma control.

"This study suggests that further dietary research in asthma should be
directed to factors other than sodium," Pogson says.

By Jennifer Warner
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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