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August 09, 2017

Fish oil is known since centuries to have many important health benefits. In many cultures, it is used as a medicine to cure asthma traditionally.

Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs where the airways become too narrow to be able to breathe normally. Symptoms of asthma can include wheeze or a high pitched sound while breathing in or out, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. The condition can be managed with medications and timely medical attention during emergencies but has no permanent cure.

One in thirteen adults and one in five children are believed to have asthma in the U.S. A total of 25 million suffer from this airway disease, of which 8.6% are children. Children are more likely to suffer from asthma than adults.

Asthma is also the top chronic disease in young children and the most common cause for missing school. In fact, in 2013, more than 13 million school days were lost because of asthma. It is also the third leading reason for hospitalization for children.


Why is fish oil healthy?

Certain oily sea fish contain fatty acids called omega 3 fats. These are a type of polyunsaturated fats that have numerous health benefits according to extensive studies. Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, krill and pomfret are the richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids. There are two components of omega 3 fats, including EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These two components of omega 3 fats are associated with normal foetal and brain development in children, protection against heart disease and hypertension and improving cognitive functions such as memory, concentration and prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s.


The link between fish oil and asthma risk

Studies have found that there is a link between deficiency of these two components of omega 3 fats in pregnancy, and heightened risk of offsprings developing asthma and wheezing.

In 2010, a large cohort study involving 736 pregnant women was conducted called Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood.  One group of women received 2.4 grams of EPA and DHA at the 24th week of pregnancy while the other group received a placebo. The supplements were given until one week after delivery. The children were followed until five years of age and the follow-ups are ongoing. 

The researchers found a 7 % decreased risk of asthma or wheeze in the first five years in those children whose mothers received EPA and DHA supplementation. The incidences and risk of infections of the lower respiratory tract was also found in this study in children whose mothers received the omega 3 supplementation derived from fish oil.

Disclaimer: The vitamin health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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