• David Steuer

Fish oil can help fight asthma, study shows

Updated: Mar 28, 2019



University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have discovered new essential information about omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil and how they could be used for asthma patients.

In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation—Insight, researchers using cell cultures from local asthma patients, found that:

Omega-3 fatty acid products can reduce the production of IgE, the antibodies that cause allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in people with milder cases of asthma;


But in patients with severe asthma who use high doses of oral steroids, the omega-3 fatty acids are less effective because the corticosteroids block the beneficial effects.

Lead author Richard P. Phipps, Ph.D., the Wright Family Research Professor of Environmental Medicine, and his lab had previously shown that certain fatty acids contained in fish oil regulate the function of immune cells (B cells). They wanted to further investigate the effects on asthma.

People with asthma have an imbalance between molecules that dampen inflammation and those that increase inflammation.

Using steroids as treatment controls the inflammation and relieves symptoms, but does not cure the underlying disease.

Phipps and his team collected blood from 17 patients at UR Medicine’s Mary Parkes Asthma Center and isolated their B immune cells in the laboratory to explore the impact of pure omega-3-derived products on IgE and other molecules that fuel the disease.

Co-authors Nina Kim, Ph.D., and Patricia Sime, M.D., the C. Jane and C. Robert Distinguished Chair in Pulmonary Medicine, conducted much of the laboratory and clinical work, and compared the results of the 17 patients to donors of healthy blood cells.

Most of the patients who volunteered for the study were taking corticosteroids in either pill form or by inhaler, depending upon severity of their asthma.

Results showed that all responded to the omega-3 fatty acids to some degree, as evidenced by a reduction in the levels of IgE antibodies.

But unexpectedly, Phipps said, the cells from a small subset of patients who were taking oral steroids were less sensitive to the omega-3 treatment.

Steroids are usually a very effective treatment for asthma.

However, although the science is in the early stages, it appears that when corticosteroids are used steadily, in some cases the steroids reduce some of the body’s natural ability to fight asthma-related inflammation, Phipps said.

The URMC discovery coincides with a New England Journal of Medicine study in late December 2016, showing that prenatal exposure to fish oil reduced the risk of wheeze and asthma in children.


Phipps noted that the fish oil used as a dietary supplement in the NEJM study was a special high-quality preparation—and that consumers should use caution when buying fish oil because not all fish oil is the same.

“You really need high-quality, standardized material that’s been processed and stored correctly before comparing results from one study to another study,” Phipps said.

“Our study used the pure, biologically active products in fish oil, known as 17-HDHA, and we’ve provided a clear line of evidence for why intake of high-quality fish oil is good.”

Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have many health benefits. Once ingested, they convert to special pro-resolving mediators that halt inflammation without also suppressing the immune system. They can be found in foods such as flax seed oil, salmon, tuna, anchovies, and walnuts.

Funds from the National Institute of Health, the Mary Parkes Asthma Center, and the Rob Quivey Oral Biology Training Grant supported the research.

#fishoil #naturalremedy #asthma #Omega3

FOLLOW US

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE:

INSIDE DR. DAVE

About us

Contact

Upcoming Events

Store

ARTICLE TOPICS

Medical Disclaimer

This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. David Steuer and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Steuer nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

© 2019 Dr. Dave Steuer. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy     Terms of Use     DMCA Policy      Join The Team