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Beginning My Case Study: A Natural Cure For Asthma

Posted Feb 10 2010 12:00am

Evening Everyone.

Well, as the snow flies here in upstate NY, and my snow blower bites the dust yet again, I thought what better time to kick off this case study that I had started to do a while ago but never chronicled about ” A Natural Cure for Asthma ” and what had actually caused me to want to do this study was an article on the site Healthier which had an article posted by Dr.Alan Inglis, called ” Natural Remedies Can Beat Drugs in Quest for Asthma Relief ”

So, the article itself intrigued me as I have suffered with some form of asthma, which I have talked about elsewhere on this blog, and thought that maybe this could be something of benefit for myself and for my readers to be able to follow along with in my journal.

I plan on starting this study this coming Saturday, but I want to start this case study by focusing on the supplements that I will be using…

Okay, today I am focusing on the first supplement…

Carlson Super Omega.3 Gems Fish Oil-1000mgs per Capsul

Just what is fish oil anyway?

Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. It is recommended[1] for a healthy diet because it contains the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that reduce inflammation throughout the body. Fish do not actually produce omega-3 fatty acids, but instead accumulate them from either consuming microalgae that produce these fatty acids, as is the case with fish like herring and sardines, or, as is the case with fatty predatory fish, by eating prey fish that have accumulated omega-3 fatty acids from microalgae. Such fatty predatory fish like mackerel, lake trout, flounder, albacore tuna and salmon may be high in omega-3 fatty acids, but due to their position at the top of the food chain, these species can accumulate toxic substances (see biomagnification). For this reason, the FDA recommends limiting consumption of certain (predatory) fish species (e.g. albacore tuna, shark, and swordfish) due to high levels of toxic contaminants such as mercury, dioxin, PCBs and chlordane.[2] More than 50 percent of the world fish oil production is fed to farmed salmon.[3] There are DHA Omega-3 vegetarian products, made from algae, available if toxic contaminants are of concern. “

There have been some different articles and or posts about the effects that fish oil has on children and adults with asthma…

“  Fish oil benefits children with bronchial asthma
TOKYO, JAPAN. It is now clear that inflammation of the airways is an important factor in asthma. Thus, it would make sense that supplementation with a natural anti-inflammatory could benefit children with the disease. The two main components of fish oil, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), inhibit the formation of leukotrienes and prostaglandins from arachidonic acid and omega-6 fatty acids and thus reduce the generation of cytokines from inflammatory cells.

Japanese researchers now report that supplementation with fish oil does indeed reduce asthma symptoms in children with long-term bronchial asthma. Their study involved 29 children between the ages of 8 and 14 years who had suffered from asthma for an average of 10 years and were hospitalized for the condition. The children were randomized to receive fish oil capsules or placebo capsules (olive oil) three times daily for a 10-month period. The amount of fish oil given to the children varied from 2.4 grams/day (500 mg EPA + 215 mg DHA) to 4.8 grams/day (1000 mg EPA + 430 mg DHA) depending on body weight. After 10 months of therapy the asthma score (a measure of the severity and frequency of attacks) had dropped from an average of 21 to an average of 6 in the fish oil group with no significant change in the placebo group. The sensitivity to acetylcholine inhalation (a promoter of attacks) also decreased significantly in the fish oil group, but no change was observed in the placebo group.

The researchers conclude that fish oil supplementation for 10 months decreases asthma scores and increases acetylcholine thresholds in children with bronchial asthma. They do add that the conditions of their trial included a strictly controlled environment in terms of diet and the presence of inhalant allergens.
Nagakura, T., et al. Dietary supplementation with fish oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in children with bronchial asthma. European Respiratory Journal, Vol. 16, No. 5, November 2000, pp. 861-65

Diet rich in fish may help prevent childhood asthma
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. Childhood asthma is now a major health problem in Australia with 31% of West Australian children having been diagnosed with the condition. Chronic inflammation of the airways is also a major problem with 12% of the population reporting wheeze severe enough to disturb sleep. Studies involving Australian school children have shown that those who consume oily fish more than once a week have a significantly reduced risk of asthma.

Australian researchers now suggest that the epidemic of childhood asthma is associated with a change in the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio in the Australian diet. It used to be around 5:1, but is now 15:1 or higher. They recently concluded a study of 355 school children of which 166 had been diagnosed with asthma at 6 years of age and the remaining 169 acted as asthma-free controls. A comparison of the two groups showed that the significant risk factors for asthma were:

  • Gestational age less than 37 months (OR=2.93)
  • Maternal asthma (OR=6.13)
  • Breastfeeding for less than 6 months (OR=2.25)
  • A high omega-6/omega-3 ratio in the diet (OR=1.93)

After adjustment for other known risk factors the risk of asthma was 2.89 times higher among children with an average dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 18 than among children with a ratio of 8. The researchers believe that the benefits of a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids are due to the inclusion of more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the two main components of fish oil.
Oddy, W.H., et al. Ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and childhood asthma. Journal of Asthma, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2005, pp. 319-26

Fish oils help asthma patients
LARAMIE, WYOMING. Asthma is an increasingly common affliction in the Western world. It is estimated that between 20 and 25 per cent of all children suffer from one or more symptoms of asthma at some point. There is evidence that a high dietary intake of linoleic acid (n-6 PUFA) may exacerbate asthma symptoms. Linoleic acid is found in particularly high concentrations in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, and corn oils. Researchers at the University of Wyoming now report that adjusting the dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be effective in reducing asthma symptoms in many patients. Their experiment involved 26 non-smoking asthma-sufferers aged 19 to 25 years. The normal dietary intake of n-6 PUFA was determined for all participants at the start of the study and after one month. For the first month participants were given fish oil capsules containing enough EPA and DHA to adjust their intake ratio of n-3 PUFAs (fish oils) to n-6 PUFAs to 0.1:1. During the second month the participants had their n-3 PUFA to n-6 PUFA ratio adjusted to 0.5:1. The average fish oil intake required to produce the 0.5:1 ratio was 3.3 grams per day. Extensive testing showed that more than 40 per cent of the participants experienced a significant improvement in their breathing ability and better resistance to asthma attacks while on the high fish oil diet. The researchers conclude that dietary supplementation with fish oils or other enriched sources of n-3 PUFAs may be a viable therapy for asthma.
Broughton, K. Shane, et al. Reduced asthma symptoms with n-3 fatty acid ingestion are related to 5- series leukotriene production. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 65, April 1997, pp. 1011- 17

Okay, so that’s the first supplement, there are two others which I will talk about over the next few days, and as I stated in the beginning of this post, I will be starting this case study this coming Saturday.


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