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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 00:12 GMT
Trial to test asthma salt theory
Image of a girl with asthma
Millions of people have asthma
Scientists are to test the hypothesis that eating less salt can help people with asthma control their symptoms.

Recent studies have suggested people with asthma who eat a lot of salt can benefit from cutting their consumption.

A University of Nottingham team plans to recruit 220 volunteers with mild to moderate asthma to try to come up with a definitive answer.

Half of the 5.2 million in the UK with asthma have symptoms so severe that they have a huge impact on their lives.

This could represent a huge advance in the management of this common condition
Dr Andrew Fogarty

Drug-free alternative treatments have become increasingly popular for all sorts of medical conditions.

And modifying diet can be a relatively easy way of treating a condition.

The Nottingham research will investigate the practicality of continuing on a reduced salt diet, and assess its impact on the everyday lives of people with asthma.

All the volunteers will initially be given a reduced salt diet. Some will then remain on it, while the others will move onto a diet containing the UK national average amount of salt.

Simple solution

The asthma symptoms of both groups will be monitored throughout to discover if eating less salt does improve asthma symptoms.

Lead scientist Dr Andrew Fogarty said: "Our trial will look at the role of sodium restriction in controlling asthma.

"If this proves beneficial then a low salt diet is an easy and simple way to help improve asthma symptoms for all sufferers.

"This could represent a huge advance in the management of this common condition."

Dr Lyn Smurthwaite, research development manager at the charity Asthma UK, which is funding the study, said: "Reducing salt in our diets is thought to be beneficial for many reasons, and the possibility that it may improve asthma symptoms is something Asthma UK is keen to explore.

"Dr Fogarty's work may result in an additional management option for some people with asthma."

08 Jan 04 |  Medical notes

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