According to a new study performed by medical researchers at James Cook University in Australia, eating more fish may significantly reduce the risk of developing asthma. Asthma affects millions of individuals around the world, and it can be life-threatening. The study is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Professor Andreas Lopata, from James Cook University’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, stated, “Asthma incidence has nearly doubled in the past 30 years and about half of asthma patients do not get any benefit from the drugs available to treat it. So there’s a growing interest in non-drug treatment options.”
Why fish? The research time looked at fish consumption due to a belief that the global rise in asthma rtes is linked to people eating less fish but consuming more vegetable oil. This means that people are receiving more n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and less n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid. More fast, convenience foods and less fresh food.
The study tested 642 workers from a fish processing factory. The factory is located in a small South African village and was chosen due to tis high levels of fish consumption and low socioeconomic status. The economics of the village are important because the researchers were confident that the residents were not receiving supplements containing n-3 PUFA.The researchers found that some types of n-3 PUFA from marine oils can significantly reduce risk of developing asthma (or asthma-like symptoms) by up to 62 percent, while increased n-6 PUFA consumption was associated with a 67 percent higher risk of asthma.