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Evidence Points to Fish Oil to Fight Asthma

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Birbeck

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.

Read More: Evidence Points to Fish Oil to Fight Asthma