Why would coffee improve asthma?

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Offline Jolly- Joliver

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Why would coffee improve asthma?
« on: 12/04/2011 13:42:02 »
I noticed that if you drink coffee while having bad asthma, it can improve it, any ideas as to why that would be?

Coffee is a stimulant, could that be the reason?
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Offline Bored chemist

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Why would coffee improve asthma?
« Reply #1 on: 12/04/2011 20:52:02 »
Could be.
This is very closely related to caffeine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophylline#Indications


 Also, steam inhalation is sometimes soothing.
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Offline Variola

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Why would coffee improve asthma?
« Reply #2 on: 12/04/2011 21:27:59 »
Caffeine inhibits the breakdown of cyclic-AMP, the downstream result of which is that TNF alpha, responsible for release of pro-inflammatory cytokines  is inhibited.

As BC pointed out, theophylline is a metabolite of caffeine and has similar mechanism of action, and is a vasodilator too. 

As an asthmatic myself, it is just another excuse to drink great coffee!  [;D]
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Offline wolfekeeper

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Why would coffee improve asthma?
« Reply #3 on: 13/04/2011 02:46:24 »
I think that short term stress has an anti histamine effect; you don't need your eyes closing up from an allergic reaction in a battle or when running away from a Saber tooth tiger! That's what an epi-pen does of course; coffee also increases adrenaline.