Oxidative stress is a factor in exercise-induced asthma (EIA). It stands to reason that supplementation with antioxidants may offer protection from EIA. A small study was published in Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology (2016 Jan;220:95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2015.09.012. Epub 2015 Nov 16) looked at the effect supplementation with alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) supplementation had on patients with EIA. The study was a single-blind, randomized crossover study with eight patients diagnosed with EIA and five healthy controls. The subjects took 300 IU of alpha tocopherol and 500 mg of ascorbic acid daily for three weeks. This was followed by a washout period (no supplements) of three weeks. The washout period was followed by three weeks of the alternative treatment. Ten-minute treadmill tests were performed, followed by pulmonary function testing (forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and between 25 and 75% (FEF25-75%), and peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR)) measured pre-exercise and 1, 5, 15, and 30 min post-exercise. Supplementation led to significant improvements at minute 5 and minute 15 in FVC; FEV1; PERF; FEF25-75% and minute 30 in FEV1 and FEF25-75% post-exercise. The authors of the study concluded that supplementation with alpha tocopherol and ascorbic acid could help in recovery for patients with EIA.
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