Drop (fatty) acid and your chance of asthma

Fatty acids may reduce the risk of asthma in young adults, according to observational research from the University of North Carolina. 

Fatty acids may reduce the risk of asthma in young adults, according to observational research from the University of North Carolina.

UNC researchers examined data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study to analyze the relationship between fish consumption and n-3 LC-PUFAs (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids) and the incidence of asthma over a 20-year period. More than 4,000 people were included in the study. They were African American and white men and women aged 18 to 30 from four American cities. Subjects were monitored until 2005, providing dietary, medical and demographic information and blood samples. Participants were excluded if data were missing on n-3 LC-PUFA consumption, asthma, key factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption and if energy intakes were implausible or participants were pregnant.

The analysis found that asthma appears responsive to higher intakes of n-3 LC-PUFAs, which have anti-inflammatory properties, according to the study. As this study observed, notes the PUFA Newsletter, intakes as little as 240 mg per day, the amount some recommend for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, might also reduce the risk of asthma in adults.

More than 25 million American have asthma, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

A Dutch study published last year in the journal Pediatrics and discussed in the Daily Mail, found that babies who eat fish between the age of six and 12 months may have a lower risk of developing asthma. Eating fish outside of this window, however, may not have the same effect.

For those unlucky enough to have missed their n-3 LC-PUFAs during the critical developmental periods, folks in Andhra Pradesh, India claim to have a total cure. They stuff medicine into the mouth of a live fish, which is then swallowed by asthmatic patients. Results were not published in the journal Pediatrics. But you can check out a video here.

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