Over the decades, the economic burden and prevalence of asthma have steadily risen.(Ehteshami-Afshar) This chronic respiratory disease conventionally is managed by medications that target bronchial dilatation and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. People who suffer from asthma often find alternative management techniques helpful, and scientific emphasis has been given to diet as a tool to lessen the burden and symptoms of asthma.(Garcia-Larsen) A Mediterranean diet or a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have shown promise in this area;(Garcia-Marcos) however, it is still challenging to pinpoint a consistently effective nutritional agent.
The consumption of citrus fruits, as indicated in various epidemiological studies, has been associated with decreased prevalence of asthma and improved asthma-related respiratory symptoms.(Chatzi, Farchi, Forastiere, Patel) Nutritional components and phytochemicals of citrus (e.g. hesperidin and naringin) have also been attributed to desired respiratory health benefit.(Knekt) Although, outside of observational studies, controlled experimental data in humans are limited. A more consistent experimental effect for the respiratory value of citrus phytochemicals has been described in animal models.(Ahmad, Guihua, Seyedrezazadeh) Despite the scarcity of clinical data, citrus fruits are an excellent candidate in the search for alternative asthma management methods because they are sources of vitamin C, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids – and in fortified juices, vitamin D and calcium – which are all associated with the mitigation of either inflammation mechanisms or complications of asthma.(Allan, Gilliland, Grieger, Patel, Sandhu, Saris)
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