New research suggests that eating more long chain omega-3 fatty acids during childhood may reduce the risk of developing asthma.
The study, led by the Queen Mary University of London, measured their patients’ diet as children, and followed them for years to see who developed asthma and who didn’t. Those who ate more fish, meaning those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids, seemed to have less chance in getting the condition.
Read more about the study below:
“Senior author, Professor Seif Shaheen from Queen Mary University of London, said: ‘Asthma is the most common chronic condition in childhood and we currently don’t know how to prevent it. It is possible that a poor diet may increase the risk of developing asthma, but until now most studies have taken ‘snap-shots’, measuring diet and asthma over a short period of time. Instead, we measured diet and then followed up children over many years to see who developed asthma and who didn’t.
‘Whilst we cannot say for certain that eating more fish will prevent asthma in children, based on our findings, it would nevertheless be sensible for children in the UK to consume more fish, as few currently achieve recommended intake.’
Fish is of particular interest because it is a rich source of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have anti-inflammatory properties. . .
Long chain omega-3 intake from fish was not associated with asthma in the cohort as a whole (4,543 people). However, the team looked in more detail at children with a particular genetic make-up. More than half of the children carried a common variant in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene which is associated with lower levels of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the blood. In these children, a higher dietary intake of long chain omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a lower risk of asthma. The risk was 51 per cent lower, comparing those in the top quartile of long chain omega-3 intake with those in the bottom quartile.”
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