Purpose of review: The goal of this review is to assess recent additions to the medical literature that contribute to the clinical question: 'How might diet act as a disease modifier in patients with asthma?' In vitro, animal, and epidemiologic data are presented as justification for interventional studies, which form the basis of clinical recommendations and decision-making. Recent findings: A number of studies suggest roles for n-3 fatty acids, soy isoflavones, vitamin D, and antioxidants as modifiers of asthma severity. However, these studies are generally complicated by small sample sizes and either negative results or findings that are of questionable clinical significance. Summary: The available literature regarding dietary manipulation as asthma therapy is largely unconvincing. Although mechanistic and epidemiologic studies provide a rationale for diet therapies, there are few interventional studies with positive, clinically relevant endpoints. Future studies must include sufficient numbers of well selected patients and measure effects on exacerbations, symptoms, lung function, and medication use.
- N-3 fatty acids
- Soy isoflavones
- Vitamin D
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine