Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
Q. Terry, “I’ve been reading about the great benefits of iodine supplementation, especially in reducing inflammation of the lungs and helping to manage asthma. Can you offer any recommendations for my 7 year old daughter, who suffers from asthma? We follow a whole foods/organic diet and supplement with a high quality multivitamin, additional vitamin C & D3 and omega-3s. We also try to manage environmental triggers. Thank you for your words of wisdom!!” — Tina N., Omaha, NE
A. Dear Tina, While iodine is a wonderful nutrient with many benefits, I don’t believe it is the best option for your daughter. I suggest that you explore the following recommendations, as I have had excellent results with them.
In the case of asthma, I always advise people to first look at their diet, which can play a crucial role. While it sounds as if you are already following a healthy diet, I would suggest having your daughter (if she is not already doing so) avoid all dairy products with the exception of cream, butter and eggs to see if additional benefits can be gained. I also find that people respond much more favorably when they remove grains that contain gluten.
English Ivy and Thyme extracts make a very excellent combination, helping to keep the lungs clear. Both herbs have been extensively researched in Germany and other European countries for use with colds, cough, bronchitis and even asthma. This combination functions as an expectorant (helps cough out phlegm) and mucolytic (breaks up congestion). Make sure to look for a product that contains an English Ivy extract standardized for Hederacoside-C and a Thyme extract that is standardized for essential oil content. I recommend taking 250-500 mg of this combination twice daily. More can be taken, if necessary.
Another recommendation of my mine includes a blend of highly-bioavailable curcumin (an extract of the spice, turmeric) and boswellia. These two herbs reduce some of the inflammation triggers inside the body. Reducing inflammation in the lungs reduces lung irritation and swelling, and lets the air go in and out more easily. I would recommend having your daughter take 670 mg of this curcumin-boswellia combination daily. Two things to keep in mind when choosing a product: make sure the curcumin has excellent absorption and that it has been proven in published human studies (curcumin is notoriously hard to absorb) and that the boswellia is screened to less than 5% beta boswellic acid and standardized to 10% acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), the most active component of boswellia.
Please keep in mind that while these products may help tremendously with reducing asthma issues, it is important that your daughter always carries her emergency rescue inhaler. Dietary supplements can be useful in prevention and long-term maintenance, but they cannot replace the effects of emergency asthma medication that works quickly in the event of a serious attack. Hopefully, she will never need to use this emergency medication, but it is better to have it with her.
As always, it’s very important for you to work with your daughter’s healthcare practitioner. I encourage you to talk with her doctor and see what he/she thinks of using the protocol I have recommended.
Terry . . . Naturally