Saturday, October 15, 2022
HomeDoes Fish Oil Help Asthma

Does Fish Oil Help Asthma

Evidence Points To Fish Oil To Fight Asthma

Fish oil may help pregnant women prevent asthma in their babies ABC7
  • News
  • Evidence Points to Fish Oil to Fight Asthma

University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have discovered new essential information about omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil and how they could be used for asthma patients.

In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical InvestigationInsight, researchers using cell cultures from local asthma patients, found that:

  • Omega-3 fatty acid products can reduce the production of IgE, the antibodies that cause allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in people with milder cases of asthma;
  • But in patients with severe asthma who use high doses of oral steroids, the omega-3 fatty acids are less effective because the corticosteroids block the beneficial effects.

Lead author Richard P. Phipps, Ph.D., the Wright Family Research Professor of Environmental Medicine, and his lab had previously shown that certain fatty acids contained in fish oil regulate the function of immune cells . They wanted to further investigate the effects on asthma.

People with asthma have an imbalance between molecules that dampen inflammation and those that increase inflammation. Using steroids as treatment controls the inflammation and relieves symptoms, but does not cure the underlying disease.

Funds from the National Institute of Health, the Mary Parkes Asthma Center, and the Rob Quivey Oral Biology Training Grant supported the research.

Examining Link Between Fish Oil During Pregnancy And Childhood Asthma

The researchers were led by Prof. Ken Stark, Canada Research Chair in Nutritional Lipidomics and professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo.

Prof. Stark and team selected 736 pregnant women who were 24 weeks into the gestation period. They randomly administered some of the women a daily dose of 2.4 grams of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the form of fish oil. The control group received a daily dose of olive oil as a placebo.

The LCPUFAs included eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid . These can be found in coldwater fish and are crucial for regulating the human bodys immune response.

The researchers used rapid analytical techniques to measure EPA and DHA levels in the blood of pregnant women. Prof. Stark, who led the testing procedures, explains the benefits of using such a method.

Measuring the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in blood provides an accurate and precise assessment of nutrient status. Our labs are uniquely equipped to measure fatty acids quickly, extremely precisely, and in a cost-efficient manner.

Prof. Ken Stark

The mothers offspring formed the 2010 COPSAC cohort, and they were followed for 5 years the age at which asthma can be clinically diagnosed.

During the 5-year period, researchers monitored the childrens health for asthma and persistent wheeze, as well as respiratory tract infections, asthma complications, eczema, and sensitization to allergens.

What Has This Got To Do With Fish

Fish contains omega-3 essential fatty acids. Every cell in the body, including those in the lining of the lungs, can use these essential fatty acids to make the hormones that regulate inflammation. The body uses the fatty acids in fish and fish oil to “turn off” the leukotrienes that attract white blood cells into the lungs.

Fish and fish oils enhance the usefulness of inhalers. These essential nutrients increase the effectiveness of the medications zafirlukast and montelukast , which operate by reducing the immune systems response to other, “bad” fatty acids. And they even help reduce symptoms when no medication is used.

Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

Does Fish Oil Help Control Asthma Not So Much Study Finds

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 — Fish oil did not improve asthma control in overweight/obese young people with uncontrolled disease, a new study shows.

It included 98 participants, aged 12 to 25, who had diagnosed asthma but poor asthma control, despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid.

Three-quarters of the participants took four grams of fish oil a day for six months. The others took a soy oil placebo.

Taking fish oil did not improve asthma control, as measured by a standard questionnaire, breathing tests, urgent care visits and severity of symptoms, according to the study recently published online in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

“We don’t know why asthma control in obese patients is more difficult, but there is growing evidence that obesity causes systemic inflammation,” study author Dr. Jason Lang said in a journal news release. He’s an associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

“Because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties, we wanted to test whether fish oil would have therapeutic benefits for these patients,” he explained.

Researchers also examined whether a variant in the gene ALOX5 affected the study results. Mutations in the gene can reduce the effectiveness of drugs that target leukotrienes, which are inflammatory molecules that play a major role in triggering asthma attacks.

More information

Fish Oil During Pregnancy May Reduce Risk Of Childhood Asthma

Can Fish Oil Treat Asthma? Signs Point to Yes

The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are well-known and range from lowering the risk of heart disease to protecting cognitive function. New research suggests that supplements of the unsaturated fat may have an additional benefit: they may lower the risk of childhood asthma.

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the two major classes of polyunsaturated fat. They can be found in certain foods like flaxseed and fish, as well as in dietary supplements such as fish oil.

So far, research has indicated that omega-3 fatty acids when consumed directly from food have a variety of health benefits. A moderate consumption of seafood has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and has also been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimers disease, and dementia.

A weekly consumption of at least 8 ounces of seafood by pregnant women also seems to improve health outcomes in their infants.

A new study carried out by the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood research center in Denmark, in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, Canada suggests an additional health benefit: reducing the risk of childhood asthma.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that children in the United States under the age of 18 or 8.6 percent of all U.S. children currently have asthma.

Don’t Miss: Do Inhaled Corticosteroids Cause Weight Gain

Less Inflammation With Omega

People in the omega-3 group had two advantages. They had a significant drop in lung inflammation. They also walked farthest in the six-minute walking test.

Side effects seen with two or three patients on each diet included diarrhea and nausea. Those problems were mild and controllable, write Matsuyama and colleagues.

The researchers suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be a “safe and practical method for treating COPD.”

Since their study was small, they call for bigger, longer studies to check their results.

SOURCES: Matsuyama, W. Chest, December 2005; vol 128: pp 3817-3827.News release, American College of Chest Physicians.

Why Not Just Eat Fish

As more and more scientists started studying fish and fish oil as a treatment for asthma, they noticed that not every kind of fish makes asthma better. Eating salted fish increases the frequency of asthma attacks in Japanese children. In Japan, however, children are more likely to eat salted fish rather than fresh fish.

Also Check: Can Allergies Cause Asthma Attacks

Why Does Fish Stop Asthma Attacks

The reason fish stops asthma attacks has to do with the effect of eating fish on inflammation. Fish contains fatty acids that help the body regulate inflammation. If you have asthma, your body has a chronically unbalanced immune response to the environment.

Every healthy immune system responds to dander, dust mites, pollen, and airborne chemicals. The immune system sends out a group of white blood cells known as CD4+. One group of CD4+ cells, known as Th1, ordinarily responds to an by causing the rupture of histamine sacs to cause swelling and inflammation to isolate it. Another group of CD4+ cells, known as Th2, comes along later to magnify the offending substance.

People with asthma have too many Th2 cells. Their immune systems cause swelling and inflammation not just of a few cells around an inhaled airborne particle but of the entire bronchial passage. The second group of CD4+ cells even recruits more white blood cells that would ordinarily be engaged in fighting tumors and viruses to produce still more inflammation. These white blood cells secrete inflammatory leukotrienes that attract more white blood cells, making the reaction worse and worse until their supplies of attractants are suddenly exhausted, ending the attack.

Here Are A Few Asthma

Exercise Induced Asthma Treatment – Omega 3 and Asthma


Being an excellent source of vitamin C, amla is one of the asthma-friendly foods that you can add to your diet. Not only does it help in improving overall immunity, but due the presence of vitamin C content in it, it also helps in decreasing the inflammatory responses in the airways. This further lessens the spasms of the bronchial passages.

Garlic And Ginger

Known as natural antibiotics, ginger and garlic both are replete with health-benefiting properties. Their anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties could help in healing in the symptoms of asthma. You can add them to your soups and broths to reap their maximum benefits.

You May Like: Can Someone With Asthma Smoke Weed

May Help Children With Adhd

Fatty acids are essential for the brain, and not just when its fully developed. Infants who dont get enough of these nutrients are at a higher risk of developing mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . Luckily, symptoms of ADHD in children who were short on the fatty acids as infants can be improved with supplements. One study found that EPA, specifically in high doses, was most helpful in easing symptoms .

Does Omega 3 Fish Oil Help Treat Asthma Symptoms

By;;|;;Submitted On March 21, 2007

Asthma is a condition that can affect your lifestyle if not well controlled.

But does natural nutrients such as fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids help treat the symptoms of asthma?

Some studies have shown a benefit, while others have shown no benefit.

More studies in this area will certainly help.

Let’s look at a randomized, double-blind study published in medical journals in 2006 looking at exercise induced asthma and whether fish oil supplementation helps.

Exercise induced asthma is a condition that can exist on its own, or can be a part of the symptoms experienced by asthmatics who’s asthma is triggered by other conditions such as allergens, respiratory infections, cold weather or other triggers.

This study used fish oil capsules which contained 3.2 grams of EPA and 2.0 grams of DHA in the treatment group.

The study found the following:

a) There was an improvement in lung function tests to the level below which ‘exercise induced asthma’ would be diagnosed.

b) The need for bronchodilator medication was reduced. These are the reliever medicatiosn used to relieve acute episodes of asthma.

c) Testing of the amounts of markers of inflammation in sputum was also decrease.

This was a small study, but hold some promise.

More research into asthma and exercise induced asthma would be very interesting to se.

Omega 3 fatty acids have certainly made it into the medical news headlines for many reasons.

Recommended Reading: I Have Asthma And I Smoke Weed

Is There A Vegan Alternative To Fish Oil

At least 10 studies have shown that other sources of essential fatty acids reduce the production of inflammation-inducing leukotrienes, but most failed to show that taking flaxseed oil or similar products reduced the frequency of asthma attacks.

The reason may be that the studies were not conducted over a sufficiently long period, not that other kinds of essential fatty acids don’t help. A clinical trial conducted at Harvard Medical School found that children on inhalers increased lung capacity by an average of 10 percent over the course of 9 months, whereas children on inhalers who were given essential fatty acids increased lung capacity an average of 23 percent. But it took nine months to get even 23 percent greater breathing capacity.

Not So Fast While Most Experts Say That Eating Fatty Fish Is Good For Your Overall Health

Does Fish Oil Help Control Asthma? Not So Much, Study Finds

It’s too early to promote fish oil” for asthma relief, says;JCI;study co-author Richard P. Phipps Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine at the University of Rochester. To understand why, it helps to know a little about how this study was done. While you might assume that scientists had asthma patients eat fish for dinner or swallow fish oil supplements, that wasn’t what happened.

Don’t Miss: Can Steroid Inhalers Cause Weight Gain

What To Look For In An Omega

When choosing a fish oil supplement, youll quickly notice that they come in many different forms. Although your body has a hard time absorbing and, therefore, using ethyl esters , you can pick up pretty much any other kind, including free fatty acids , phospholipids , triglycerides , or reformed triglycerides . Although several prescription omega-3 formulas have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to lower triglycerides, over-the-counter supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Thats why its important to buy from a brand you trust or look for the seal of purity from the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s .Fish oil can also go bad. Try to find one that includes an antioxidant like vitamin E in the formulation to prevent this. You can also help avoid your fish oil capsules going rancid by keeping them away from sunlight and also choosing one packaged in darkly colored material to keep light out.

Expert Reaction To Study Looking At Omega

A study published in the European Respiratory Journal looks at asthma in children and omega-3 dietary intake.

Dr Prasad Nagakumar, Paediatric Respiratory Consultant, Lead for Severe Asthma, Birmingham Womens and Childrens Hospital NHS Trust, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Birmingham Clinic Trials Unit, University of Birmingham, said:

In a study published in ERJ, Talaei and colleagues using data from two large birth cohorts have shown that in children aged 7 years with a specific variant in FADS gene, high dietary intake of long chain omega 3- fatty acids is associated with 51% reduction in risk of developing asthma at age 11-14.; The study population included predominantly Caucasian subjects, mostly not from lower socioeconomic status.; Few studies in the past have shown reduction in risk of offspring developing asthma when such dietary modifications are made in pregnant women or in infants.; This well-designed study provides valuable data showing that dietary modifications in certain primary school children may prevent development of asthma in them at secondary school age.

Dr Duane Mellor, Registered Dietitian and Senior Teaching Fellow, Aston Medical School, Aston University, said:

Dr Alister McNeish, Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Pharmacology, University of Reading, said:

Dr David Richardson, Founder and Director of DR NUTRITION , said:

1 Public Health England.; The National Diet and Nutrition Survey .; Report of Years 9 to 11 .; Published December 2020.

Read Also: Does Acid Reflux Cause Asthma

Fish Oil The Respiratory Tract Wheezing And Asthma

Fish oil has become one of the most popular superfoods available today. And for good reason. Multiple studies have proven that there are very real benefits to consuming the omega-3-rich oil, including reduced risk of heart disease, psychosis, epilepsy, vision loss, Alzheimer’s, mental stress, memory loss, prostate cancer, and post-partum depression, to name a few.

A new study out of Denmark has a new benefit added to the list: fish oil can reduce your child’s risk of asthma.;A team of scientists at the Danish Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood research center worked with Canadian scientists from the University of Waterloo to analyze the effects of fish oil consumption on childhood asthma. The CDC estimates that roughly 6.3 million American children suffer from asthma, a number that is rising every year.

Granted, for the children who ended up developing asthma, the fish oil didn’t help to reduce the severity of their asthma symptoms. However, the research proved that fish oil supplementation can help to prevent childhood asthma.

The truth is that the average North American woman doesn’t get anywhere near enough polyunsaturated fatty acids in her diet. This study only added to the mounting evidence that increasing PUFA intake is vital, even more so during pregnancy. Something as simple as taking a fish oil supplement can do wonders to protect not only your health;but that of your unborn child as well.

The Need For Intervention Data

Fish Oil Benefits – Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements – Men’s Health

The study only shows correlation and not causation, however, and the researchers called for intervention studies to confirm their findings and hypothesis.

Commenting independently on the studys findings, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory & scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s , added to this point. While results from this cross-sectional study suggest a benefit of omega-3s for asthma control, nothing further can be said without conducting a well-controlled intervention study that includes baseline omega-3 levels in all subjects, said Dr Rice.

Despite the current study not showing a difference in the omega-3 index between asthmatics and non-asthmatics, an intervention trial may very well demonstrate a benefit of omega-3 supplementation in asthmatics who have low baseline omega-3 levels.;;

Read Also: What To Do When Someone Has An Asthma Attack Without Inhaler

How To Get Enough Fish Oil Or Omega

We know that fish can be a little too, well, fishy for some people to stomach. But if you are open to eating some oily types of fish like sardines, mackerel, and anchovies, aim for 1-2 servings per week. This is a moderate weekly intake that balances your need for omega-3s with the risk associated with taking in too much mercury. If upping your intake of fatty fish is simply out of the question, its probably time to consider an omega-3 supplement. If youre following a vegan or vegetarian diet, youll want to supplement with alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants, or with algae oil. Flaxseed oil is a good option for meeting your daily needs.;Guidelines for recommended dosage differ from group to group, but the World Health Organization advises 200500 mg of combined EPA and DHA . You may see this in grams on the packaging, in which case, choose dietary supplements that offer between 0.2 and 0.5 g of the two fatty acids. High doses should only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional. And side effects of fish oil capsules may include bloody nose, heartburn, nausea, loose stools, bad breath, and belching. The most common side effect is fishy burps, but this effect can be diminished by keeping your supplement in the fridge.


Most Popular