The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Omega-3, vitamin C, and zinc in asthmatic children

     Researchers from Tanta University, in Egypt report improved asthma control.

    Is this a breakthrough study?

    First, the details.

    • 60 children with moderate persistent asthma were randomly assigned to each treatment for 6 weeks.
      • Supplementation with omega-3 (1000 mg) + zinc (15 mg) + vitamin C (200 mg)
      • Each supplement alone
    • Asthma was evaluated using the childhood asthma control test (C-ACT).
    • Lung function and inflammatory markers were also recorded.

    And, the results.

    • Diet supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids + vitamin C + zinc was associated with significant improvement of C-ACT, pulmonary function tests, and sputum inflammatory markers.
    • There was also significant improvement with the combined use of the 3 supplementations vs. single use of any one of them.

    The bottom line?
    The findings should be confirmed.

    The authors hypothesized that omega-3, vitamin C, and zinc might act through their anti-inflammatory effects.

    They also think that zinc may work by regulating the actions of T-cell lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s allergy response. “It also inhibits the activation of NF-kB, a transcription factor implicated in many proinflammatory genes,” they added.

    Regarding the individual effects of omega-3 and vitamin C, in an earlier study, modifying the dietary intake of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids during early childhood didn’t change the risk of getting asthma later on.

    A Cochrane review of the effect of vitamin C on asthma identified a positive study result. However, overall, the authors concluded, “At present, evidence… is insufficient to recommend a specific role for vitamin C in the treatment of asthma.”

    The effects of zinc are unclear.

    4/12/09 21:19 JR

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