Sunday June 16, 2019

Fish Oil Supplements May Not Improve Asthma Symptoms, Says Study

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested

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Man about to use asthma inhaler

Fish oil supplements, once touted as the natural substance that could alleviate many of your chronic ailments, may not prove to be helpful to obese/overweight adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma, new research suggests.

The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that four grams of fish oil a day for six months did not improve asthma control, as measured by a standard asthma control questionnaire, breathing tests, urgent care visits and severe asthma exacerbations.

“We don’t know why asthma control in obese patients is more difficult, but there is growing evidence that obesity causes systemic inflammation,” said lead author Jason E. Lang, Associate Professor at the Duke University in the US.

“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,” Lang added.

The team included nearly 100 overweight or obese participants aged 12 to 25 and found that the participants had poor asthma control despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid to control their asthma.

For every three participants assigned to take fish oil for 25 weeks, one was assigned to take the soy oil placebo.

Supplements
Fish oil may not improve asthma symptoms: Study. Pixabay

In addition, the team also looked at whether a variant in the gene ALOX5 affected the findings. It is known that mutations in the gene can reduce responses to anti-leukotriene drugs.

Leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that play a critical role in triggering asthma attacks. In this study, the ALOX5 variant did appear to be linked to leukotriene production but not to the effectiveness of fish oil in providing asthma control.

The researchers noted that the study’s negative findings may not be the last word on fish oil and asthma and acknowledged that larger doses of fish oil over a longer period of time may produce a different result.

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However, based on the current study, “there is insufficient evidence for clinicians to suggest to patients with uncontrolled asthma that they should take daily fish oil supplements to help their asthma”, said Lang.

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested. (IANS)

Next Story

Car Pollution: The Cause of Asthma Among Over 350,000 Children in India

South Korea (31 per cent) had the highest proportion of traffic pollution-attributable childhood asthma incidence. The UK ranked 24th of the 194 countries, the US 25th, China 19th, and India 58th

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odd even scheme

Traffic pollution caused asthma among 350,000 children in India, the second largest after China, in 2015, finds a Lancet study that analysed 194 countries.

The study, published in the Lancet Planetary Health, found that the largest number of cases (760,000) of traffic pollution-related asthma were in China.

It could be because China has the second largest population of children and the third highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is an indicator of traffic pollution.

India had the next largest number of cases (350,000) due to its large population of children, said researchers from the George Washington University in the US. The US (240,000), Indonesia (160,000) and Brazil (140,000) had the next largest burdens.

“Our findings suggest millions of new cases of paediatric asthma could be prevented in cities around the world by reducing air pollution,” said Susan C. Anenberg, Associate Professor at the George Washington University in the US.

Car emissions contribute to global climate change. Pixabay

Globally, the study suggests there are 170 new cases of traffic pollution-related asthma per 100,000 children every year, and 13 per cent of childhood asthma cases diagnosed each year are linked to traffic pollution.

South Korea (31 per cent) had the highest proportion of traffic pollution-attributable childhood asthma incidence. The UK ranked 24th of the 194 countries, the US 25th, China 19th, and India 58th.

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India ranks below other countries for this metric because although levels of other pollutants (particularly PM2.5) in the country are among the highest in the world, NO2 levels (between 2010 and 2012) in Indian cities appear to be lower than or comparable with European and US cities, the researchers said.

“Improving access to cleaner forms of transportation, like electric public transport and active commuting by cycling and walking, would not only lower NO2 levels but would also reduce asthma, enhance physical fitness and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Anenberg said. (IANS)