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Asthma is one of the most common and prevalent problems worldwide affecting over 300 million individuals. There is some evidence from observational and intervention studies to suggest a beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA in inflammatory diseases, specifically asthma. Marine-based n-3 PUFA have therefore been proposed as a possible complementary/alternative therapy for asthma. The proposed anti-inflammatory effects of n-3 fatty acids may be linked to a change in cell membrane composition. This altered membrane composition following n-3 fatty acid supplementation (primarily EPA and DHA) can modify lipid mediator generation via the production of eicosanoids with a reduced inflammatory potential/impact. A recently identified group of lipid mediators derived from EPA including E-series resolvins are proposed to be important in the resolution of inflammation. Reduced inflammation attenuates the severity of asthma including symptoms (dyspnoea) and exerts a bronchodilatory effect. There have been no major health side effects reported with the dietary supplementation of n-3 fatty acids or their mediators; consequently supplementing with n-3 fatty acids is an attractive non-pharmacological intervention which may benefit asthma.

Original publication

DOI

10.1017/S0954422415000116

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nutr Res Rev

Publication Date

06/2016

Volume

29

Pages

1 - 16

Keywords

AA, AHR airway hyper-responsiveness, ALA α-linolenic acid, Asthma, COX cyclo-oxygenase, EIB exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, FEV1 forced expiratory volume in 1 s, FeNO fractional exhaled NO, Fish oils, Inflammation, LA linoleic acid, LOX lipoxygenase, LT leukotriene, LX lipoxin, NOS NO synthase, Omega-3 fatty acids, PD protectin, PEF peak expiratory flow, Rv resolvin, arachidonic acid, n-3 Fatty acids