Research: FOGARTY and co-authors,

Listed in Issue 137

Abstract

FOGARTY and co-authors, Division of Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital, Hucknall Rd, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK, andrew.fogarty@nottingham.ac.uk, have found that vitamin C, but not magnesium, reduces the consumption of corticosteroids for asthma.

Background

The aim of the study was to assess the a priori hypothesis that regular supplementation with vitamin C or magnesium will permit a reduction in the corticosteroid dose required to maintain asthma control in adults.

Methodology

All participants who completed a parallel-group, randomized, placebo-controlled, 16-week supplementation trial of 1g/day vitamin C or 450 mg/day magnesium were invited to continue and participate in a structured corticosteroid reduction protocol over 10 weeks.

Results

A total of 92 participants (29 vitamin C, 31 magnesium and 32 placebo) entered the study. The geometric mean reductions in inhaled corticosteroid dose achieved with vitamin C, magnesium and placebo were 49, 13 and 11 micrograms, respectively. Relative to placebo, the unadjusted effect of vitamin C was significant, and remained at borderline significance after adjustment for baseline corticosteroid dose (relative reduction ratio = 4.03, p = 0.06).

Conclusion

Conclusions: While vitamin C supplements may have modest corticosteroid sparing effects and hence the potential to reduce exposure to their side effects, magnesium supplements have no effect on the inhaled corticosteroid dose required to maintain asthma control.

References

Fogarty A, Lewis SA, Scrivener SL, Antoniak M, Pacey S, Pringle M, Britton J. Corticosteroid sparing effects of vitamin C and magnesium in asthma: a randomised trial. Respiratory Medicine 100 (1): 174-179, Jan 2006.

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