Fish oil supplements are often touted as quite healthy and may even do wonders for your overall health, helping alleviate many chronic ailments. However, according to a recent study - published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine - fish oil supplements may not prove to be helpful to obese/overweight adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma. The researchers conducted a study on nearly 100 overweight or obese participants aged 12 to 25 years and found that they had poor asthma control despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid. As measured by a standard asthma control questionnaire, urgent care visits, breathing tests, and severe asthma exacerbations, it was found that consuming four grams of fish oil a day for six months did not improve asthma control.
"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 participants were asked to take fish oil for 25 weeks. For every three participants, assigned by the researchers to take the fish oil, one was assigned to take the soy oil placebo. The team of researchers aimed to look 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 concluded by saying that that the study's findings may not be the last word on fish oil and asthma. However, they also acknowledged that consumption of larger doses of fish oil over a considerable period of time may lead to a different result.
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.
Here Are A Few Asthma-Friendly Foods That You Can Add To Your Diet:
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.
Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds come packed with anti-inflammatory properties that may help you deal with symptoms of asthma. For asthmatics, winters can be dreadful as the smog in the air may cause a toll on their lung health. Including flaxseeds in their daily diet could be of immense help.
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