Is there are an Omega 3 asthma link? Will more essential fatty acids in your diet help your asthma?

It would seem from many decades of study that increasing our intake of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega3 fats will help in many areas of our health. But will taking capsules of fish oil for asthma reduction make any difference to your asthma symptoms?

There is no doubt that our intake of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega3 fats, and in particular DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), the 2 most important of the Omega3 fats, has declined over the last century.

And it would also seem quite clear from decades of research that this decline is negatively affecting our health in various ways. But does this negative impact extend to those suffering from asthma?

Omega 3 and asthma

Or in other words if you have asthma will taking Omega 3 supplements, or eating more fish, help reduce your asthma symptoms?

It’s a good question and unfortunately like many of these things a question without a clear answer. There has been a number of studies on the Omega 3 asthma link, with varying results.

And it is also a question of what you are trying to achieve. Anyone who currently suffers from asthma wants to know whether increasing their Omega 3 intake will reduce symptoms. This is quite a different question to whether or not an increase in Omega 3 intake helps prevent asthma.

On the question of preventing asthma by increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids one study has concluded that increasing the intake of the Omega3 essential fatty acids by a woman in late pregnancy may help reduce the risk of asthma for those children after birth and in later life.

That suggests a preventative link between Omega 3 and asthma development.

Whether it is possible to prevent, or help prevent, asthma by taking Omega 3 supplements later in life is hard to say.

And how about people who currently suffer from asthma, and they take supplements containing fish oil for asthma relief rather than prevention?

Studies are mixed. One, from 2006, has suggested that Omega 3 capsules may well help improve lung function for people who suffer from exercise induced asthma.

The supplements used in the study contained 3.2 grams of EPA and 2 grams of DHA. The best source of EPA and DHA is fish oil.

One particularly interesting finding was that there was evidence that taking the essential fatty acids helps reduce airway inflammation. As it is now well known that Omega 3 fats are a powerful anti-inflammatory this makes complete sense.

Ultimately, in the absence of clear evidence either way, it comes down to the individual. People suffering from asthma should of course consult their doctor, however it would seem that there are strong reasons to try using capsules containing fish oil for asthma relief. Try it and see if it works for you.

Regardless of whether increasing your intake of fish oil reduces asthma symptoms there is no doubt that all of us, including asthma sufferers, can get a wide range of health benefits from adding more Omega3 fats to our diet.

So even if you do not find that supplementing your diet with fish oil capsules helps reduce your asthma symptoms you will certainly still attract many of the other health benefits that have been shown to follow from increasing Omega 3 intake.

And that has to be good.

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