We would like to inform you about an innovative study. James Cook University in Australia has revealed new evidence that eating fish can help prevent asthma.
Professor Andreas Lopata of JCU’s Australian Institute of Health and Tropical Medicine (AITHM) participated in the study. The investigation evaluated 642 people working in a fish processing factory in a small village in South Africa.
“About 334 million people worldwide suffer asthma, and about a quarter of a million people die each year. In Australia, one in nine has asthma. In addition, among indigenous Australians this rate is almost double,” explains Lopata.
In addition, “the incidence of asthma has almost doubled in the last 30 years and almost half of patients get no benefit from the medications available to treat it. Therefore, there is a growing interest in non-drug treatment options,” he said.
In this sense, the researcher’s theory is that the drastic change in diet worldwide is behind the increase in disease. “There is a growing consumption of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (vegetable oils) and a decrease in the consumption of n-3 (marine oils).
Certainly, there has been a global move from fresh fish to fast food.
Also, Professor Lopata explains that a fishing village was chosen for the trial. The village had a high fish consumption and low socio-economic status, so it was likely that marine fish oils and other seafood products were the main source of n-3.
“We found that certain types of n-3 were significantly associated with a lower risk of having asthma by as much as 62%, while higher consumption of n-6 was associated with an increased risk by as much as 67%,” he said.
Above all, there are more evidence of the suspected inflammatory function of n-6 in the development of asthma, and more evidence that n-3 gave significant protection.
“Even the mercury pollution in some fish populations, the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the potential risks,” says Professor Lopata.
Finally, he points out that more work is needed on what effects specific types of n-3 have and how their beneficial function could be optimized, and on how to minimize the negative effects of n-6.