Nutrition Articles

Reduce Asthma Symptoms with Omega 3s

Nutrition News Flash

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Omega-3 fatty acids seem to be good for everything, and a new study of their effect on exercise-induced asthma is yet another example of the benefits of this healthy type of fat. A study at Indiana University found that adults with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma who took an omega-3-rich fish oil supplement daily for three weeks improved their post-exercise lung function by 64 percent, allowing a 31 percent decrease in their use of emergency inhalers.

People with exercise-induced asthma usually experience inflammation of the airway, called bronchoconstriction, immediately following exercise. The standard American diet is rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. In this study, researchers found that while taking supplemental fish oil—3.2 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 2 grams of docohexaenoic acid (DHA) daily—samples of mucus taken from participants showed reduced amounts of pro-inflammatory cells and markers.

It's important to note that the supplement used in this study was pharmaceutical grade, which means it was standardized for quality and also filtered at a molecular level to eliminate contaminants like mercury. Store-bought supplements do not have any guarantees about quality or potency since they are not regulated by the FDA.

Action Sparked
Besides benefiting asthma sufferers, omega 3s are beneficial to health in lots of other ways too, helping to prevent cardiovascular disease, boost brain function, and even fight depression. Eating fatty fish, such as salmon, is a good way to boost your omega-3 consumption. In addition to certain fish, these healthy fats can be found in tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola oil, walnuts, walnut oil, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. If you suffer from exercise-induced asthma, talk to your doctor to see if a fish oil supplement would be right for you.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • 4MY4PACK
    I understand the point of the article, but how is this helpful if it is not possible to buy the type of supplement used in the study? Scratching my head here.... - 8/28/2013 12:48:30 PM
  • I have never heard of this before. Exercising is hard for me because of my asthma and I would love to try this, but unfortunately, I am allergic to everything with omega 3. - 11/19/2012 10:54:43 AM
  • KIRA44
    But wait a minute- they did a clinical research using purified supplements and are saying that store -bought supplements are not as effective; what sense does it make? - 1/9/2012 11:33:55 AM
  • LOVE this article! I have both exercise induced and chronic asthma and already take a supplement for Omega 3, 6, and 9 but I used to take 1000 mg of O-3. I should start taking it again. I'll have to try it and see if it helps with my asthma at all. - 10/23/2011 2:41:26 PM
  • I WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT KIND TO BUY, MAYBE I WILL FIND IT IN THE READINGS I COME ACROSS. - 4/23/2011 6:52:59 PM
  • HAMMER79
    I'm going to try this. I battle exercise-induced asthma. Thanks! - 3/22/2011 8:50:27 AM
  • LINDA5758
    I was wondering what the benfit of omega 3 was. I"m so glad I read this. I love fish so it isn't a problem for me to eat it.I learned alot from this article. I will be reading alot more of the articles in here.
    Thank you so much for the information. - 10/17/2010 7:40:52 PM
  • This article is great. I have been doing research on my own. Thanks for covering this topic. - 11/18/2008 11:08:44 AM

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