Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Symptoms of Asthma in Children?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that causes shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. Inflammation is a key component of the development of asthma and this inflammation in the airways can make breathing difficult. Asthma is one of the most common chronic disease impacting children.
Due to the inflammatory nature of the condition, omega-3 fatty acids, which are potent anti-inflammatory fatty acids have been studied for their application in asthma.
In a 2019 study, the omega-3 index (% EPA + % DHA in the blood) was calculated for participants with asthma in order to assess the role that omega-3 fatty acids have on asthma control. Subjects with a high omega-3 index (≥8%) had a lower dose of medication needed to manage asthmatic symptoms when compared to those with a low index (<8%). The study demonstrated that a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood is associated with better asthma control and with lower steroid dose, suggesting that a omega-3 fatty acids may have a role in asthma management.
In a 2018 study by researchers at John’s Hopkins Medicine, children in Baltimore were studied for six months. It was found that children with higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids had fewer asthma symptoms triggered by indoor air pollution. Additionally, those who had higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids had more severe asthmatic reactions to the air pollution.
If your child suffers from asthma, talk to your healthcare provider about adding in a high-quality omega-3 fatty supplement to decrease overall inflammation and improve symptoms of asthma.