Omega-3 Intake Lowers the Risk of Asthma in Children and Adults

We’re talking about the benefits of omega-3 EFAs, essential fatty acids, or what’s commonly known as fish oil. Here’s a cool one. Omega-3s can reduce asthma in children.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease, with symptoms like

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath and
  • Wheezing

Severe asthma attacks can be extremely dangerous.

What causes Asthma?

Asthma is caused by inflammation and swelling in the airways of your lungs.

What’s more, asthma rates in the United States have been rising over the past few decades. Several studies associate omega-3 consumption with a lower risk of asthma in children and young adults.

What is the correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and asthma?

Some experts believe that the rising rates of asthma may in part be due to a deficiency in vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for lung and immune system development. Because children tend to spend more time indoors than in past generations, this reduces their exposure to sunlight. This results in reduced vitamin D production.

The hygiene hypothesis

A leading theory behind the rising of allergies and asthma diagnoses rates is also there’s a hypothesis known as the hygiene hypothesis.

  • This theory suggests that living conditions in much of the world might just be too clean and that kids are not being exposed to germs that would train their immune systems to tell the difference between harmless and harmful irritants.
  • This concept is supported by studies that show that individuals living on farms develop fewer allergic diseases.
  • The theory is that farm animals increase exposure to germs and germ components called endotoxins. These endotoxins stimulate the immune response and decrease allergic reactions. And if you do a study on it, you will find that other research suggests that the rising prevalence of allergies and asthma certainly could be more complex and the result of many different factors. But the bottom line is omega-3 intake has been associated with a lower risk of asthma both in children and young adults.

The psychological component of asthma

I have a story from my past when I lived in Europe. There was a young woman, really a teenager, and she was French. She would have these wheezing asthma fits. And it is psychological, too. Just by speaking to her in a calm voice and helping her to change her mind, distracting her with something less toxic than what she was going through, what her body was going through, helped her to be able to regain her composure.

Mentally, we can affect infection and inflammation in the body by calming ourselves down. That’s another important point to take away. But for the purpose of understanding how omega-3s benefit human beings, certainly omega-3s can reduce the risk of asthmatic conditions.

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