In a recent study, on fish oil supplementation in obese or overweight patients with uncontrolled asthma was published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Jason E. Lang, MD, MPH, with co-authors headed the research. They reported that by consuming four grams of fish oil every day for six months didn’t help in controlling asthma among obese and overweight individuals. This analysis came after it was measured through standard asthma control questionnaire, urgent care visits, breathing tests, and severe asthma exacerbations.
Key findings of the study:
According to Dr. Lang, obesity causes systematic inflammation, however, there are not enough insights on why asthma control is difficult among obsess patients. As the omega-3 contains fatty acids, in fish oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, researchers made efforts to test in case fish oil would have therapeutic advantages for these patients. Dr. Lang is the lead author of the report and associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University.
The study carried out on 98 obese/overweight participants between the age group of 12 to 25 years. All the participants were diagnosed with asthma and had poor asthma control, even though they inhaled corticosteroid to control their asthma. For every three participants were asked to take fish oil for 25 weeks and one was asked to take the soy oil placebo.
The gene ALOX5 was also looked into if it has affected study findings. Generally, a mutation in the gene can decrease responses to anti-leukotriene drugs. They are inflammatory molecules playing a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. The ALOX5 variant was associated with leukotriene production. However, it was not beneficial to fish oil in providing asthma control, as per the findings of this study.
Researchers from the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and the McMaster University together with the colleagues at other partnering institutions have come up with a new method to treat severe asthma. In a study that comprises participation of over 200 people with severe asthma, the new treatment was shown to have bettered asthma symptoms and lung function, whilst diminishing the need for corticosteroids by up to 70%.
Current Medications Come with Serious Side Effects
In accordance to Statistics Canada, 8% of the Canadians aged around 12 years or older, approximately around 2.4 million people, have been diagnosed with asthma. Of that, approximately around 25% are considered to be of severe cases of asthma.
Current treatments for severe asthma often comprise high doses of corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to control exacerbations. Reducing the need for corticosteroids with various alternative treatments is preferable, since these medications are associated with serious side effects from prolonged use which comprises immunosuppression and multi-organ toxicities.
Dr. Parameswaran Nair, staff respirologist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and professor of medicine at McMaster University together with a team of researchers discovered that an antibody called dupilumab is effective in the treatment of severe asthma in place of high doses of prednisone.
Dr. Nair and his team shared the details of their study at the American Thoracic Society’s international conference in San Diego recently. There, researchers and clinicians from across the world came together to discuss respiratory illnesses and the latest breakthroughs in the treatment of severe asthma.
The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an influential medical publication.