Take a deep breath

I’ve mentioned my beef with asthma inhalers before. Inhaled steroids simply haven’t been proven safe for long-term use. Quite the opposite, in fact. Studies have linked them with everything from weight gain and diabetes to osteoporosis.

And yet they’re handed out like lollipops by a lot of doctors today. Even when research shows that, in a lot of cases, they’re just not necessary.

Take the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association just this past September, for example. This randomized trial of 340 mild to moderate asthmatics revealed that daily corticosteroid treatment was no more effective at controlling asthma than using an inhaler only when symptoms occur.

What’s more? Researchers also found that this symptom-based approach to inhaled steroid use offered the same results using only half the usually prescribed dose.

Between fall allergies and the return of cold and flu season, this revelation couldn’t be any timelier.

But there’s an even better approach to managing asthma symptoms. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, new research shows that getting more vitamin D can make a big difference in allergy and asthma symptoms all by itself. No inhalers required.

I recommend at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU per day of vitamin D3 (the active form of the nutrient).