Did you know that many asthmatics are deficient in magnesium, or that this powerful mineral has been used quite successfully to prevent asthma attacks since the 1930’s—thanks in large part to its antihistamine properties, and ability to promote relaxation of the bronchial smooth muscle.

When your body has a magnesium deficiency, your cells release more histamine, which causes constriction in your lungs. Many studies have reinforced this fact, including one that found that of 50 people suffering from mild, moderate, or severe asthma, 2/3 had dramatic magnesium depletion.

Luckily, combining a healthy lifestyle—such as avoiding pollutants and known food triggers—with large doses of supplemental magnesium can significantly reduce your asthma symptoms. Most experts agree that if you have asthma, you should take 1,000-1,500 mg of magnesium a day.

One caution: Magnesium can act like a laxative, so be sure to spread out your dosage over the course of a day and take it with meals. Another option is to look for slow-release, enteric-coated magnesium tablets.