Home Remedies for Asthma
But this post is about how we landed on lypospheric vitamin C to begin with. We use a lot of these things preemptively. If we do have an acute issue, we immediately proceed to our emergency plan! That being said, all of these things have contributed to our not needing to move to our emergency plan – as often as we have had to prior.
Vitamin C for Seasonal Allergies & Asthma
In the spring of 2012, my son started what had become usual for us each spring – intense nasal congestion. It was spring allergies. He would get so congested that he could not even breath through his nose at night – I spent weeks at a time sleeping with him the previous years and holding him up so that the congestion would drain and he could sleep peacefully. We’d finally succumb to nasal steroids – adding to our steroid burden. And in 2012 – that is where we were headed. Bear in mind, we’d use the netti daily, zyrtec, stay indoors – but still he would spend about 3 months battling intense nasal congestion that could only be tamed with flonase. So here we were March-ish 2012 and my son was beginning the seasonal stuffies. I let it go for as long as I could and then ordered the nasal steroids. In the meantime, he caught a flu or something that was going around school – so he was out for a week. Towards the end of the week, when I thought he was getting better – he spiked a fever and a really rich cough. This was Saturday night – I decided that we’d last out the weekend and then go into doc on Monday. He had pneumonia when he was 2 – and then some other quasi lung infection thing at 3 (all before asthma diagnosis) – so I was totally afraid he had gotten pneumonia. The cough was intense and the fever relatively high (hovering around 101.9 to 102.5 if I recall). Around 11ish at night, I started spoon feeding as much lypospheric vitamin C mixed with apple juice as my son would take. I would wake him periodically and give it to him. I n the morning, I gave him a gram – and then throughout the day – I think it was every 4 hours or so I’d give him 1 gram. Needless to say by Monday morning he was fine – fever had broken the day before never to return. The other thing that didn’t return was the nasal congestion! So I continued giving my son 1 gram, sometimes 2 grams (if I felt a cold was coming on), daily of lypospheric vitamin C. Over this time frame, he was able to go through the entire spring season WITHOUT NASAL STEROIDS – AND – WITHOUT INHALED STEROIDS – AND WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS! We went to the allergist towards the beginning of the summer that year, and his lung function test was awesome!
Vitamin C and IgE
Additionally, over the next year and a half we experienced an IgE reduction of 30% (the first 4-6 months) followed by a slow rise again, despite our daily dose (but still slower rise that had historically been). Our IgE experience seems similar to the findings of this article:
Assessment of oral ascorbate in three children with chronic granulomatous disease and defective neutrophil motility over a 2-year period.
This is a fascinating article. The children, all three of whom had elevated IgE levels, experienced an initial drop of IgE in first 6 months – followed by a gradual rise over the next year and a half that they were tracked. Why does vitamin C (sodium ascorbate in particular) initially reduce IgE? Why does it stop doing that after about 6 months? What organ does it initially effect, that grows tolerant to it? More food for thought:
An interesting study, keeping in mind that it is mice model. The mice are bred not to produce vitamin C (like humans – we do not produce vitamin C). But it’s interesting read – if only to get a clue to which organs it effects:
According to the report by Harrison et al. (14), vitamin C is preferentially deposited in brain (4~10 mM), adrenal gland (2~10 mM), liver (0.8~1 mM) and cerebrospinal fluids (CSF; 0.2~0.4 mM). However, the reason why such organs contain the high concentration of vitamin C is still largely unknown. Moreover, in vivo kinetics of vitamin C in organs under vitamin C insufficient condition has not been investigated yet.
Alpha Lipoic Acid and Asthma
Alpha lipoic acid has always interested me – ever since I read an abstract (which now I can’t find) where they gave children who were experiencing elevated IgE and asthma symptoms ala for a period of time. This reduced both the IgE levels and asthma. The children in this study were also diagnosed to have elevated arsenic levels. And so somehow, it seems, that as the arsenic was chelated, the IgE lowered as did the asthma symptoms. Although ALA has been found to boost intracellular glutathione levels. (Side note apparently Vitamin C does as well). So perhaps both of these supplements are really boosting glutathione which is pushing down the asthma.
This is something that we’re experimenting with on our own. But ever since beginning regular supplementation with L. Gasseri, we’ve seen less frequent cough – even while reducing the inhaled steroids. It could be that the l. gasseri is boosting the immune system and preventing colds/flus (of which we’ve had less) thereby reducing viral triggered asthma issues. It could be that the l. gasseri is reducing inflammation.
Lactobacillus gasseri suppresses Th17 pro-inflammatory response and attenuates allergen-induced airway inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
Basically they found that L. Gasseri reduced “…allergen-induced airway inflammation and IL-17 pro-inflammatory immune response in a mouse model of allergic asthma…”
Other Supplements that May Be Beneficial in Asthma:
Selenium – Buy the selenium we use! – which also includes a heat killed strain of l. plantarum.