Health & Medical Allergies & Asthma

Reliv & Asthma

    Nutrition's Role in Asthma

    • Nutrition does seem to matter overall when treating asthma. A 2007 literature review on nutrition and asthma done at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak, India, found numerous studies identifying the role that vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids play in the control of asthma symptoms. A study published in 2004 by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that asthma was associated with low levels of vitamin C and carotene.

    The Reliv Claim

    • Reliv sells a number of different nutritional supplements, some targeted at general health maintenance and others for specific conditions such as blood-sugar management, digestive health and anti-aging. It doesn't have a specific asthma product, but lists some of its other products that it says are equally effective for helping to treat asthma. Its website links to studies that have examined the role of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in reducing asthma symptoms, but none of the featured studies examined Reliv's effectiveness specifically.

    Public Feedback

    • Online testimonials about the effectiveness of Reliv for treating asthma can be readily found on public forums and blogs. However, any product marketed through multilevel sales is going to be heavily promoted by those who are selling it, making it more challenging for consumers to sort out satisfied customers from salesmen when browsing the blogs. Reliv promotes its products on its own website as well as those of its distributors.

    Competitors Abound

    • A "Reliv Watchdog" site has already sprung up to counter some of the company's claims. It cautions that Reliv is "not all rainbows and sunshine." But consumer beware: It's the site of a competitor who has its own line of supplements for sale.

    The Upshot

    • Good nutrition should be part of a full care plan for asthma. Vitamin supplementation may be helpful. Reliv sells one such line of supplements, as do dozens of other companies. In 2007, almost $24 billion worth of supplements were sold in the United States. A few years later (see Resources 3), the supplements industry claimed it was actually worth almost three times that a year.

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