A new study has found that consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is link; to fewer childhood asthma symptoms which are trigger by indoor air pollution. The study publish in ‘American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine’; lays out that families and health care providers may be able to protect children from harmful effects of indoor air pollution; by serving a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids while reducing foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as soyabean oil and corn oil.

Asthma severity and lung function

However, analyses included 135 children with asthma enrolled in the AsthmaDIET Study. But at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months, data included: week-long average home indoor concentration of PM ≤2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter; and PM ≤10 μm in aerodynamic diameter, dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, daily symptoms; and peripheral blood leukocytes. But asthma severity and lung function assess at baseline. Multivariable regression models; adjust for known confounders, used to determine associations between each fatty acid; and outcomes of interest, with interaction terms (fatty acids × PM) in longitudinal analyses.

“Our group is working on ways to reduce the levels of indoor air pollution in Baltimore City homes,” said lead author of the study, Emily Brigham. “Results are promising, but they do not want to stop there,” Brigham added.The study found that for each additional gram of omega-6 intake; children had 29 % higher odds of being in a more severe asthma category. Conversely, with each 0.1-gram increase in levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet; researchers saw 3 to 4 % lower odds of daytime asthma symptoms.Indoor air pollution; from sources including cooking, cleaning activities and cigarette smoke; is a known trigger for asthma symptoms.

Abundantly in fish

However, higher omega-6 intake associated with increased odds of increased asthma severity (P = 0.02), and lower FEV1/FVC ratio (P = 0.01). But higher omega-3 intake associated with reduced effect of indoor PM ≤2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter on symptoms (P < 0.01); whereas higher omega-6 intake associated with amplified effect of indoor PM ≤2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter on symptoms and circulating neutrophil percentage (P < 0.01).

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found abundantly in fish and certain nuts and seeds; are considered healthy as they are known to reduce inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids; primarily found in vegetable oils (including corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower); as came out in other studies, have mixed effects on health, but have the potential to promote inflammation.But the researchers, however; noted that it does not prove the relationship between fatty acids and asthma severity. “However, among populations known to be disproportionately affect by asthma; we may find that improving diet and air pollution together has the greatest impact on health,” said Brigham.