Effects of aerobic exercise and vitamin C supplementation on rhinitis symptoms in allergic rhinitis patients

Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2018 Dec;36(4):222-231. doi: 10.12932/AP-040417-0066.


Introduction: Exercise training and vitamin C supplementation have both been recommended as an effective adjuvant treatment in the management of symptoms in patients with many diseases. However, its effects on rhinitis symptoms remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of exercise training alone, and in combination with vitamin C supplementation, on rhinitis symptoms in allergic rhinitis patients.

Methods: Twenty-seven rhinitis patients were randomized into 3 groups: control (CON; n = 8), exercise (EX; n = 9), and exercise combined with vitamin C (EX + Vit.C; n = 10). The exercise training protocol consisted of walking and/or running on a treadmill at 65-70% heart rate reserve for 30 min per session, 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The EX + Vit.C group ingested 2,000 mg vitamin C per day.

Results: After 8 weeks, both EX and EX + Vit.C groups increased peak aerobic capacity and peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF) and exhibited significantly decreased rhinitis symptoms, nasal blood flow (NBF) and malondialdehylde levels compared to pre-test. Rhinitis symptoms and NBF after nasal challenge with house dust mite decreased significantly in the EX and EX + Vit.C groups. The EX and EX + Vit.C groups had significantly lower nasal secretion interleukin (IL)-4, but higher nasal secretion IL-2 levels, than the CON group.

Conclusions: This study clearly confirms that aerobic exercise training significantly improved clinical of allergic rhinitis and cytokine profiles. Nonetheless, with the limited power of small sample size, whether adding vitamin C is any beneficial is not shown. A larger randomized controlled trial is thus warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / immunology*


  • Ascorbic Acid