Do Omega-3s Help Asthma Symptoms?

According to a recent study, the omega-3 fatty acids in foods may help alleviate asthma symptoms in children. The same study has found that omega-6 fats, however, may make allergy symptoms worse. Omega-3s are highly concentrated in foods like fish and walnuts. Omega-6, meanwhile, is more common in corn and other vegetable oils. Certain foods also contain both omega-3 and omega-6 acids.

The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine researchers who conducted the study looked at 135 asthmatic children from the inner city of Baltimore, ranging between ages 5 and 12. At the beginning of the study and once more at 3 and 6 months in, the children were examined for their diet, their asthma symptoms, and what medications they took. During each phase of the study, blood samples were collected. Devices were also placed in each child’s home to measure the level of air pollutants.

In the end, researchers concluded that a higher omega-6 intake was tied to more severe asthma symptoms, as well as increased effects of particulate pollution on asthmatic symptoms, and higher blood levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell linked to inflammation. Conversely, children with higher omega-3 consumption experienced milder reactions to indoor pollution, as well as lower blood levels of neutrophils.

Lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Emily P. Brigham, stated that, “We controlled for what we could… But before we say that this is causal, before we recommend changing diets, we need controlled studies. If we find a link between diet and asthma that’s affecting these kids, that’s incredibly important.”

Supporting the Latest Findings in Allergy Research

We at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia applaud Dr. Brigham and her team for their research. We understand that it takes a long time to arrive at conclusive evidence in the medical field, but that’s also why we believe in conducting as much research as possible. Our board-certified Georgia allergists are committed to supporting all the latest advancements in allergy and asthma-related treatment, which is why we specialize in everything from cough variant asthma to exercise-induced asthma. For medical professionals dedicated to helping you breathe a little easier, contact the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today.

Dial (404) 994-3574 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online. Se habla español.