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Physical Activity Benefits Those with Asthma

Aerobic training can reduce bronchial hyperresponsiveness in asthmatics.

Physical activity is good for the heart, good for the mind, good for burning calories, and good for reducing the risk of cancer. Now a small Brazilian study has found aerobic exercise can improve asthma symptoms in those with moderate-to-severe disease compared to the control group. Two 35-minute bouts of treadmill exercise per week for 12 weeks resulted in less-frequent exacerbations and better quality of life.

PositiveTip: Maintain physical fitness for all-round good health and reduced risk of disease.

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Suck on Your Child's Pacifier

Clean your kids pacifier with your saliva--its good for the child.

This may sound like weird science, but parents who suck their child's pacific to clean it may actually reduce that child's risk of developing allergies. Swedish researchers followed 184 full-term infants. At 18 months children whose parents cleaned the pacifier by sucking on it had significantly less asthma and eczema compared to those whose parents cleaned the pacifier in other ways. At 36 months they still had less eczema but not asthma. Exposure of infants to parental saliva may reduce allergies by beneficially influencing the child's microbiota.

PositiveTip: Go ahead and suck on your child's pacifier--it may reduce future allergies.

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Fast Food Risks in Kids

Eating fruit at least 1-2 times per week protects against severe asthma.

Eating fast foods three or more times per week is associated with a 70% higher risk of severe eczema and a 39% higher risk of asthma in teens, according to a recent multi-center, multi-country study. Even consumption of fast foods 1-2 times per week significantly increases the risk of wheezing and asthma in children. Interestingly, eating fruit 1-2 times per week significantly reduced the occurrence of wheezing, severe asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema.

PositiveTip: Avoid fast foods and eat more fruit for a healthier family.

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Sweetened Sodas Linked to Lung Diseases

Sugary sodas alone or combined with smoking increase risk of lung disease.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to poor health outcomes such as heart disease and stroke. Researchers in Australia have recently found that sugary drinks are associated with an increased risk of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though this cross-sectional study does not prove that sodas are the cause of these problems, it does offer some interesting results. Those who drank at least half a liter per day were twice as likely to develop either lung condition (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.51 to 3.60) compared to those who drank none. Those who drank soda and smoked showed a 6.6 fold increase in risk.

PositiveTip: Sodas are not necessary for human survival. Why are you drinking them?

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Exercise Reduces Asthmatic Airway Inflammation

Regular treatment, physical activity increase symptom-free days for moderate to severe asthmatics.

Exercise, along with regular treatment, reduced airway inflammation, lowered asthmatic attacks, improved oxygen exchange and increased symptom-free days for moderate to severe asthmatic patients when compared with those only receiving regular treatment. Symptom improvements were apparent within 30 days. A big bonus is that it also helps you feel great and controls hunger.

PositiveTip: Exercise is a great way to improve lung function and reduce the inflammatory process related to asthmatic attacks.

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Farm Kids are Protected from Asthma?

Exposure to a wide range of microbes seems to protect kids from asthma.

European researchers have found that children who grow up on farms have a much lower risk of asthma than others. The conclusion of two large cross-sectional studies is that the exposure to a larger range of bacteria and fungi confers this benefit. Perhaps the diversity of microbes assists in the maturation of a child's immune system, thus significantly lowering the risk for asthma.

PositiveTip: Don't fret if your child is exposed to a few germs--it may actually be protective to them!

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Smoking Bans Improve Health in Scotland

Asthma hospital admissions drop significantly following Scotland's ban on smoking in enclosed places.

In 2006 Scotland banned smoking in enclosed public areas. Researchers using a national database of hospital admissions have found that admission rates for asthma in people younger than 15 years old dropped 18.2% (p<0.001) per year relative to the rates prior to the smoking ban. Prior to the ban, admissions were increasing at a rate of 5.2% per year.

PositiveTip: Young people should be protected from tobacco smoke not only in public places, but also at home.

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Does Acetaminophen Cause Asthma?

Acetaminophen may not be as safe for all as previously considered.

Research on an international group of 13-14 years olds from 50 countries has examined the possibility that the use of acetaminophen may increase the risk of asthma in teens. Among some 360,000 participants it was found that use of this common analgesic at least once yearly increased the asthma risk by 43%, and if used at least once monthly by 151%. While this study does not prove asthma is caused by acetaminophen use, potential mechanisms exist. More study is needed.

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Is Fast Food Related to Asthma Symptoms?

Fresh fruits and vegetables may be protective for wheezing in children.

An international study of 50,000 radomly selected children living in 20 countries has revealed that the consumption of fresh fruit, fruit juice, and cooked green vegetables three or more times per week, as well as fish may significantly lower the prevalence of wheezing. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables have protective effects on the immune system. More research is needed to determine if this benefit is due to related lifestyle factors as well.

PostiiveTip: Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables just makes good sense in a healthy lifestyle.

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Asthma Associated with Larger Waist Measurements

Expanding waistlines associated with increased prevalence of asthma!

With a rising prevalence of asthma in the US, who would have guessed it might be associated with expanding waistlines? A study of more than 88,000 women teachers in California found that those who were overweight had a 40% higher risk for asthma compared to normal weight women. Interestingly, after adjusting for smoking, age, and ethnicity women with waist measurements larger than 35.2 inches had significantly higher risk for asthma--even if they were normal weight. Visceral fat is associated with inflammatory processes, and asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways.

PositiveTip: Go easy on the high-calorie foods and be physically active daily. It could help reduce your risk of asthma!