We’ve been hearing a lot, lately, about new findings in the fight against allergies and their near cousin, asthma. The latest word is, dietary measures taken in early life could help prevent the development of asthma when children grow older. And it’s as simple as making sure certain foods are in their diet…
Swedish researchers have discovered that children who have high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their blood when young enjoy a reduced risk of asthma or rhinitis at the age of 16 years.These diseases are also affected by inheritance and environment, but a basic underlying cause has not been postulated before. Omega-3s were specifically associated with the a reduction in the occurrence of rhinitis and Omegs-6s were specifically associated with beneficial effects against asthma.
“These new results and those of a previous study we carried out support the current dietary guidelines to eat fish two to three times a week and to vary between oily and lean fish,” says Dr Anna Bergström, of Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, spokesperson for the study.
How solid are these findings?
The study was commissioned and paid fof by The study was financed by the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas), the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte), the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association, the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, Stockholm County Council and the European Commission, who stand behind the results.
What foods are rich in Omega 3s and 6s?
Common foods rich in Omega 3s include: salmon, olive oil, walnuts, flax seed and some products, such as eggs fortified with Omega-3 fats added.
Foods rich in Omega-6s include: Raw Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds, Pine Nuts and Pistachios, and a host of oils including Flaxseed, Hempseed and Grapeseed.
Asthma sufferers take note:
Dietary additions and Omega-3 or -6 supplements may not help you if you have already developed this nasty, debilitating and occasionally fatal affliction. But further research may prove enlightening on this angle of the problem…
~ Maggie J.