Omega-3s: Consuming More Oily Fish Could Prevent Asthma In Some Children

Omega-3s: Consuming More Oily Fish Could Prevent Asthma In Some ChildrenOily fish, like salmon, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Elena Eryomenko/ Shutterstock

Omega-3 fatty acids are often touted for their reported benefits to many important aspects of health – especially for our heart. Now, our recent study has uncovered another potential benefit of omega-3s. We found that greater dietary intake of certain types of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of a child developing asthma in adolescence.

Asthma is the most common chronic condition in childhood. While we have treatments to control the disease in most patients, there’s still no cure for asthma – which is why potentially preventing it from developing in the first place could be life-saving for some.

Our team wanted to investigate whether diet during childhood was linked to a child developed asthma. To do this, we used data from the Children of the 90s cohort, which has tracked the health of more than 4,000 children born in the early 1990s.

We analysed their intake of two types of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids – knowns as EPA and DHA – from fish at seven years of age. We estimated their intake using a questionnaire. We then tracked the incidence of new cases of doctor-diagnosed asthma when these children reached 11-14 years of age.

Our bodies can’t make much EPA and DHA, and so we need to get them from our diet. These fatty acids are mainly found in oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon.

We found that intake of EPA and DHA from fish was not associated with asthma risk in the cohort as a whole. However, about half the children in the study carried a particular variant of a gene called fatty acid desaturase. When we restricted our analysis to children with the variant, we found a striking reduction in asthma risk in those who consumed the most dietary omega-3s. Children with this gene variant, who consumed the equivalent of at least two servings of fish per week, had roughly half the risk of developing asthma compared to those who rarely consumed fish.

Omega-3s: Consuming More Oily Fish Could Prevent Asthma In Some ChildrenAt least two servings of fish a week were associated with lower risk. Ann in the uk/ Shutterstock


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Fatty acid desaturase is an enzyme which converts other omega-3s into EPA and DHA. However, people with this particular variant of the fatty acid desaturase gene have inefficient production of EPA and DHA in the body, leading to low levels of them in the blood.

We were looking for this gene interaction because, if children with this gene variant have lower levels of EPA and DHA, they should benefit the most from a higher dietary intake of these omega-3 fatty acids. And this is exactly what we found. We then replicated our UK findings in a separate cohort of children in Sweden.

While we can’t say for certain that eating more fish will prevent subsequent asthma in children based, we have identified a plausible mechanism. EPA and DHA are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways, this means a higher dietary intake of these omega-3 fatty acids might prevent asthma by reducing airway inflammation.

The next step of our research will be to see whether, in the same UK cohort, we can find evidence to suggest that a higher intake of these omega-3 fatty acids is also associated with a lower risk of asthma attacks in children who already have the condition.

While further research will be needed to see if we can confirm such an effect, there is nothing to be lost in the meantime by advising parents to encourage their children to consume more fish.The Conversation

About The Author

Seif Shaheen, Clinical Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology, Queen Mary University of London

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Recommended Books:

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind -- by Peter Wayne.

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind -- by Peter Wayne.Cutting-edge research from Harvard Medical School supports the long-standing claims that Tai Chi has a beneficial impact on the health of the heart, bones, nerves and muscles, immune system, and the mind. Dr. Peter M. Wayne, a longtime Tai Chi teacher and a researcher at Harvard Medical School, developed and tested protocols similar to the simplified program he includes in this book, which is suited to people of all ages, and can be done in just a few minutes a day.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


Browsing Nature's Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs
by Wendy and Eric Brown.

Browsing Nature's Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs by Wendy and Eric Brown.As part of their commitment to self-reliance and resiliency, Wendy and Eric Brown decided to spend a year incorporating wild foods as a regular part of their diet. With information on collecting, preparing, and preserving easily identifiable wild edibles found in most suburban landscapes, this unique and inspiring guide is a must-read for anyone who wants to enhance their family's food security by availing themselves of the cornucopia on their doorstep.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It -- edited by Karl Weber.

Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About ItWhere has my food come from, and who has processed it? What are the giant agribusinesses and what stake do they have in maintaining the status quo of food production and consumption? How can I feed my family healthy foods affordably? Expanding on the film’s themes, the book Food, Inc. will answer those questions through a series of challenging essays by leading experts and thinkers. This book will encourage those inspired by the film to learn more about the issues, and act to change the world.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Marie T. Russell's Daily Inspiration

INNERSELF VOICES

What Does Our Authority Rest Upon?
Transitioning from Authoritarian "Outer" Authority to Spiritual "Inner" Authority
by Pierre Pradervand
For thousands of years, ever since mankind started settling in cities, we evolved in rigid,…
The Birthing of A New World Which Is Struggling to be Born
The Birthing of A New World Which Is Struggling to be Born
by Ervin Laszlo
Talk of fundamental change in the world around us is often met with skepticism. Change in society,…
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
by Peter Ruppert
We all experience positive and negative self-talk on a regular basis. Whether you realize it or…
Horoscope Current Week: April 19 - 25, 2021
Horoscope Current Week: April 19 - 25, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
If You’ve Contracted COVID: Healing and Moving Forward
If You’ve Contracted COVID: Healing and Moving Forward
by Stacee L. Reicherzer PhD
If you’ve contracted COVID, you not only had health problems that may have been life-threatening,…
Awakening to the Dream of the Earth and Loving the World
Awakening to the Dream of the Earth and Loving the World
by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
The most important question is not how to survive biodiversity loss, climate disruption, ecological…
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career 
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career
by Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D.
Even if your tolerance of ambiguity is lower, there are proven ways to build this important…
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
by Mary J. Cronin, Ph.D.
One approach that addresses the challenges families face today comes down to a familiar but often…

MOST READ

Is Your Bedroom Sacred?
Is Your Bedroom Sacred? Honoring Your Personal Sanctuary
by Jon Robertson
The bedroom is home to our prayers and dreams, our solitude and sexuality. In this inner sanctum,…
Age of Pisces to Age of Aquarius
Transitioning from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius
by Ray Grasse
The Age of Aries brought an awakening of the outwardly directed ego, but the more feminine Piscean…
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career 
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career
by Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D.
Even if your tolerance of ambiguity is lower, there are proven ways to build this important…
3 Ways Music Educators Can Help Students With Autism Develop Their Emotions
3 Ways Music Educators Can Help Students With Autism Develop Their Emotions
by Dawn R. Mitchell White, University of South Florida
Many children with autism struggle to find the words to express how they feel. But when it comes to…
Domestic Violence: Calls For Help Have Increased – But The Answers Haven't Gotten Any Easier
Domestic Violence: Calls For Help Have Increased – But The Answers Haven't Gotten Any Easier
by Tara N. Richards and Justin Nix, University of Nebraska Omaha
Experts expected the increase in domestic violence victims seeking help last year (2020). Victims…
At What Age Are People Usually Happiest? New Research Offers Surprising Clues
At What Age Are People Usually Happiest? New Research Offers Surprising Clues
by Clare Mehta, Emmanuel College
If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what would it be? Would you choose to be nine…
Viking DNA And The Pitfalls Of Genetic Ancestry Tests
Viking DNA and The Pitfalls of Genetic Ancestry Tests
by Anna Källén, Stockholm University and Daniel Strand, Uppsala University
According to recent estimates, over 26 million people from across the world have purchased a…
How Reactivating Traumatic Memories Could Reduce Their Impact
How Reactivating Traumatic Memories Could Reduce Their Impact
by Caitlin Clark, Texas AM
Researchers could be a step closer to finding a way to reduce the impact of traumatic memories,…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.