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Focus Summer - Fall 2017If you’ve ever tried to breathe through a straw or felt as if an invisible gorilla had your chest in a vice, or simply had to focus all your will and attention on drawing each breath—if you’ve ever had a bad asthma attack, you know how frightening asthma can be.

One in every 13 Americans suffers from this chronic lung disease characterized by ongoing airway inflammation, episodes of bronchoconstriction, and trouble breathing.[1] An estimated 39.5 million people (12.9%), including 10.5 million (14.0%) children in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma in their lifetimes.[2] Asthma is the top reason for missed school days in children.[3] In 2008, the group of children aged 5–17 years who each had one or more asthma attacks in the previous 12 months missed, in total, 10.5 million days of school. Adults who were employed and who each had one or more asthma attacks during the previous 12 months missed, in total, 14.2 million days of work due to asthma.[4] Researchers estimate the annual cost of asthma in the United States is around $56 billion.[5]

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logoIt’s always a challenge to take a single, isolated nutrient and try to prove a health benefit within a research study. Unlike drugs, which mostly have a clear mode of action on their own, nutrients generally usually work synergistically with other nutrients and lifestyle factors to generate health benefits. So when a meta-analysis (review of multiple studies) of one vitamin all show a similar clinical outcome, it is a significant finding and offers some clarity on the use of a nutrient in isolation as well as in combination with others.

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