January 24, 2021

Researchers demonstrate the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with asthma

Asthma has become more prevalent over the past decade. Many patients have managed their asthma with medication and avoiding environmental triggers.

According to a new study published earlier this year, researchers demonstrated the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with bronchial asthma.

In this study researchers compared the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids and sublingual immunotherapy in patients with bronchial asthma. Assessments included the asthma control test (ACT), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) and serum interleukin 17A (IL17A) in patients with mild to moderate persistent asthma. Serum 17A levels are used as a marker to demonstrate the efficacy of treatment.

This study included 48 patients divided into two groups. One group of 24 patients was treated with sublingual immunotherapy for 6 months and the second group was given omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for a 3-month period. As a result, there was a significant difference in each parameter between before and after treatment. Also, the omega-3 fatty acid group was shown to be more effective than sublingual immunotherapy in decreasing IL17A, however, both were effective in decreasing PEFR, FEV1 and ACT.

Since the pathophysiology of asthma is multifactorial as with many chronic diseases, there are several other nutrients that can support and modulate the underlying dysfunction and immune response.

Previous research has demonstrated Lactobacillus supplementation improves asthma severity. Individuals receiving Lactobacillus containing probiotics all had lower asthma severity and higher ACT scores. In addition, the group that received both Lactobacillus strains demonstrated increased peak expiratory flow rates and lower IgE levels.

Low serum vitamin D levels have also been linked to an increased risk of asthma. There was a previous study from the journal Allergy which demonstrated that Vitamin D could help manage asthma attacks. Asthma patients with a Vitamin D deficiency were 25% more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past.

We know vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects and it has been shown to have an effect on asthma. Vitamin D has been shown to promote T regulatory cells and has been proposed as one of the causes of the increased prevalence of asthma.

Other nutrients to consider to relax the airways and provide anti-inflammatory properties include magnesium, vitamin C, and curcumin.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS Source: Abdo-Sultan MK, Abd-El-Lateef RS, et al. Efficacy of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation versus Sublingual Immunotherapy in Patients with Bronchia Asthma. Egypt J Immunol. 2019 Jan;26(10):79-89.

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