SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. Childhood asthma is now a major health problem in Australia with 31% of West Australian children having been diagnosed with the condition. Chronic inflammation of the airways is also a major problem with 12% of the population reporting wheeze severe enough to disturb sleep. Studies involving Australian school children have shown that those who consume oily fish more than once a week have a significantly reduced risk of asthma.
TOKYO, JAPAN. It is now clear that inflammation of the airways is an important factor in asthma. Thus, it would make sense that supplementation with a natural anti-inflammatory could benefit children with the disease. The two main components of fish oil, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), inhibit the formation of leukotrienes and prostaglandins from arachidonic acid and omega-6 fatty acids and thus reduce the generation of cytokines from inflammatory cells.
LARAMIE, WYOMING. Asthma is an increasingly common affliction in the Western world. It is estimated that between 20 and 25 per cent of all children suffer from one or more symptoms of asthma at some point. There is evidence that a high dietary intake of linoleic acid (n-6 PUFA) may exacerbate asthma symptoms. Linoleic acid is found in particularly high concentrations in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, and corn oils. Researchers at the University of Wyoming now report that adjusting the dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including those found in fish oils, may be effective in reducing asthma symptoms in many patients.