JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Dietary supplementation with fish oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in children with bronchial asthma

T Nagakura, S Matsuda, K Shichijyo, H Sugimoto, K Hata
European Respiratory Journal 2000, 16 (5): 861-5
11153584
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects in vitro, and high dietary levels are associated with a lower incidence of inflammatory diseases. However, only limited effects have been demonstrated in asthma. The effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil for 10 months in 29 children with bronchial asthma was investigated in a randomized controlled fashion. In order to minimize the effects of environmental inhaled allergens and diet, this study was performed in a long-term treatment hospital. Subjects received fish oil capsules containing 84 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 36 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or control capsules containing 300 mg olive oil. The daily dosages of EPA and DHA were 17.0-26.8 and 7.3-11.5 mg x kg body weight(-1), respectively. Asthma symptom scores decreased and responsiveness to acetylcholine decreased in the fish oil group but not in the control group. In addition, plasma EPA levels increased significantly only in the fish oil group (p<0.0088). No significant side-effects were observed. The present results suggest that dietary supplementation with fish oil rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid is beneficial for children with bronchial asthma in a strictly controlled environment in terms of inhalant allergens and diet.

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