In a new study, researchers found that eating fish can help prevent asthma.
The research was conducted by researchers from James Cook University and their collaborators.
Previous studies have shown that about 334 million people worldwide have asthma. Every year, about a quarter of a million people die from the disease.
The asthma incidence has almost doubled in the past 30 years. It is possible that the dramatic change in diet is behind the rise of the disease over the world.
For example, there is a global move from fresh fish to fast food, and many people eat more n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) in vegetable oils and less n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid from fish oils.
Because many asthma patients cannot benefit from asthma drugs, it is important to develop non-drug treatment options.
In the current study, the team examined the health of 642 people who worked in a fish processing factory in a small village in South Africa.
People in the village eat fish and other seafood very often and they don’t take supplements.
The team found certain types of n-3 from fish oils were linked to a lower risk of asthma by up to 62%.
On the contrary, eating high n-6 from vegetable oils was linked to a higher risk by up to 67%.
The researchers suggest that n-6 may play a role in inflammation in asthma, while n-3 may protect against asthma.
They suggest eating fish and seafood has more benefits than potential risks.
Future work needs to find out why n-3 in fish oils could help prevent asthma and why n-6 may increase the risk.
One author of the study is Professor Andreas Lopata from JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.
The study is published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
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