Posted on Jul 03, 2019, 9 p.m.
Millions of people from around the world experience having their breathing hampered by asthma. A study from James Cook University indicates the answer may be found under the sea.
As published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health after testing 642 people eating more fish was found to significantly reduce the risk of developing asthma according to the researchers.
“Around 334 million people worldwide have asthma, and about a quarter of a million people die from it every year. Asthma incidence has nearly doubled in the past 30 years and about half of asthma patients do not get any benefit from the drugs available to treat it. So there’s a growing interest in non-drug treatment options.” explains Andreas Lopata in a press release.
People are eating more easy fast food and less fresh food, and this is a global concern. Fish consumption was focussed on in this study because the team believes the rise in global asthma rate is linked to people eating less fish while consuming more vegetable oil, specifically more n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid and less n-3 PUFA found in fish and other marine vegetables.
Based on their results certain types of n-3 PUFA from marine oils were found to significantly reduce the risk of developing asthma like symptoms by up to 62%; and increased consumption of n-6 was associated with a 67% higher risk of developing asthma.
Results support other studies suggesting the inflammatory role of n-6 in the development of asthma, and provides more evidence that n-3 has protective properties, according to Professor Lopata, who adds that more research is required on what effects specific types of n-3 have and how beneficial roles may be optimised, as well as on minimising the negative effects of n-6.
“Even if you factor in contaminants such as mercury found in some fish populations, the benefits of fish and seafood intake far more outweighs the potential risks,” said Professor Lopata.
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