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Apr 13,2007
Lifewire: Apple a day may keep asthma away
by Amy Winter

Eating apples may do more than keep the doctor away.

A study published in Thorax Online states that mothers who eat apples during pregnancy might reduce the chances of their children developing asthma later in life.

In the study, researchers from the Netherlands and Scotland followed the food intake of approximately 2,000 pregnant women. The researchers then looked at the children's airway development five years later. They found a lower risk of childhood asthma in the children whose mothers consumed apples during their pregnancy.

"The present study suggests beneficial associations between maternal apple intake during pregnancy and wheeze and asthma at age five years," the study stated.

Asthma, which is an inflammatory condition in the bronchial airways, is the most prevalent chronic condition associated with childhood, according to the American Lung Association. In 2004, approximately 4 million children experienced an asthma attack, while others suffered from undiagnosed or "hidden" asthma. Asthma is considered the third most common cause for children being hospitalized, which leads to many student absences, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Named after the Greek word for panting, asthma occurs when the functioning of the airways becomes over-reactive. This causes swelling, muscle contraction and an increase in mucus production. These problems can lead to tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing and even shortness of breath, according to the Lung Association. Several risk factors may be responsible for the onset of asthma. The Web site medicinenet.com list the factors as:

- A family history of asthma.

- Regular respiratory infections.

- Low birth weight.

- Contact with tobacco smoke before and/or after birth

- Allergies.

According to medicinenet.com, the symptoms for parents to look for are:

- Rapid breathing.

- Chest pain.

- Wheezing.

- Feeling tired.

- Common coughing spells.

There are no clear answers to why more children are getting asthma; however, some experts believe children are in contact with more allergens and cigarette smoke. The American Lung Association pinpoints five main reasons that trigger asthma symptoms and irritate the lung tissues:

- Exercise: Running can start an asthma attack in more than 80 percent of children.

- Infections: Respiratory infections, such as the flu.

- Allergy: indoor inhalants (dust, feathers, mold, pets) or outdoor inhalants (molds and pollens).

- Irritants: cigarette smoke, air pollution, paint fumes and aerosol sprays.

- Weather affects outdoor inhalants (wind may blow allergens).

- Emotional stress: asthma attacks may occur after crying, laughing or yelling.

The study looked at medical evaluations for asthma when the children reached the age of five.

Asthma can be detected in children through symptoms, medical history and a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor listens to the child's heart and lungs. If needed, children may undergo a chest X-ray and a test of the lungs. These tests calculate the amount of air in the lungs and how fast it is exhaled. This determines the severity of the asthma.

Asthma is not curable but can be controlled through medication. Parents will most likely give their child medicine using a home nebulizer or breathing machine, according to medicinenet.com. The child inhales the medicine by breathing through a face mask.

Apple intake was the key connection between prenatal food and the drop in asthma risk in the children.

According to researchers, their findings "suggest that an apple specific effect, possibly because of its phytochemical content, such as flavonoids."

The phytochemicals or plant chemicals found in an apple's skin are known as flavonoids and polyphenols. These phytochemicals have been found to prevent certain cancers and heart disease, according to healthyeatingclub.org

Apples, of course, are not only beneficial for children with asthma-related problems.

The researchers cited other studies on apples that found the "intake of apples as a significant source of flavonoids and other polyphenols (which) has been beneficially associated with asthma, bronchial hypersensitivity and lung function in adults."

2465 times read

Related news
Lifewire: Study looks at asthma and absenteeism by Ven_Griva posted on Nov 02,2007

DEQ Issues Air Quality Smoke Advisory for Central Oregon by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Aug 03,2006

Wildland Smoke Prompts New DEQ Air Quality Advisory by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Aug 17,2006

Controlled Burning in Pringle Falls Area Prompts DEQ Advisory by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Oct 13,2006


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  • EAT AN APPLE FOR YOUR OWN SAKE---DAY AND NIGH JUST LIKE A CAKE ---THIS NEW RESEARCH MAY NOT BE A FAKE : The Dutch-and Scottish study on the beneficial effect of apples on lung power of newly born children, as reported by Amy Winter, has added yet another benefit to the list of amazing health benefits of apples. Some time earlier, findings of the American researcher, Thomas B. Shea, of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, were published in the Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease, about the positive health effect of eating 2 to 4 apples a day. But neither in the new Dutch-Scottish nor the American study the researchers have identify the exact natural chemical(s) responsible for rendering their respective wonderful health-enhancing jobs. There is a common English proverb, “ONE-APPLE-A-DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY”. There is also a less familiar proverb which says : “EAT AN APPLE WHILE GOING TO BED---AND KEEP YOUR DOCTOR FROM EARNING HIS BREAD”. Apple juice is heart-healthy, according to another recent research conducted at University of California at Davis. In this recent clinical research, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, it was found that apple juice and apples had similar positive heart-health effects as red wine and tea. The RED WINE is already well known to prevent Alzheimer’s disease if consumed moderately. A 12-week study with 25 healthy adults found that 12 ounces of 100% apple juice or two fresh apples per day slowed the oxidation of LDL CHOLESTEROL, which otherwise when somehow gets oxidized, it tends to clog the arteries, and thus increases the risk of heart disease. From this research one can understand that in order to maintain good health, eating of two apples ( or at least one apple, as per proverb ) per day is essential. Apple is a Pome ( fruit ) of the genus Malus belonging to the family ROSACEAE ( Rose flower family ), and is the most widely cultivated tree fruit. Most of the apples are of the species Malus domestica or Malus sylvestris or hybrids of them. It is an established scientific fact that besides other chemical components, the presence of QUERCETIN in apple plays multiple ‘magic ingredient’ roles. Different varieties of apples contain different quantities of QUERCETIN. In a recent U.S. study it was found that lung cancer risk fell by 58% in people who ate the most apples (A major source of Quercetin) compared with those who ate the fewest apples. It appears that the Dutch-Scottish researchers have overlooked the functioning of the phytochemical QUERCETIN.
  • (Posted on April 13, 2007, 8:50 am G. S. JOHAR)

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