Can Omega 3 Help Ease Asthma Symptoms?

Do you eat fish as a regular part of your diet? If so, have you noticed any improvement in your asthma symptoms? Some researchers believe that the Omega-3 fatty acids that fish contain have a variety of health benefits, including improving your respiratory system.

Omega 3 and Asthma: An Uncertain Combination

A number of studies have explored the spectrum of possible Omega 3 benefits, and some have identified a link between Omega 3 and reduced asthma severity. The details, though, of how this might work are hazy, and it's difficult to prove for sure that Omega 3 and asthma are related. Nonetheless, some asthmatics who consume Omega 3 regularly do believe that it helps their breathing.

Are Supplements Better?

Also up for debate is whether taking Omega 3 in its natural form through the foods you eat brings the best effects or whether the Omega 3 that comes from fish could possibly make asthma symptoms worse instead of better. Some people believe that taking Omega 3 supplements may be optimal for asthma patients rather than getting this fatty acid directly from fish and other foods.

Understanding Omega 3 and Asthma

All of this information can be quite confusing for asthma patients, who wonder whether incorporating Omega 3 into their diet will help, hurt, or not even make a bit of difference. To make better sense of the facts, consider this: the basic premise is that Omega-3 fatty acids offer anti-inflammatory properties and this is what seems to help to combat a number of health problems, including asthma. In fact, Omega 3 also supports your brain function, growth and development, and offers a preventative effect against the risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis. What this means is that even if the Omega 3 doesn't help your asthma, you may still get very important effects.

Omega 3 Recommendations

To this end, the American Heart Association recommends that people eat fish twice a week. The best sources include mackerel, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon, among other varieties. You can also consume other foods that contain Omega 3, such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, olive oil, garlic, walnuts and even wine. Just be on the lookout in case increasing Omega 3 does seem to make your asthma flare.

Get a Professional Opinion

You can also talk to your doctor about whether you should consider Omega 3 supplements to fortify your regular diet. If you do take fish oil supplements, though, be sure to read the label since the amount of Omega 3 can vary from type to type. In addition, if you notice any side effects from these supplements, such as gas or diarrhea, you might try a time-release capsules instead, which can be easier on your system.


American Heart Association

US National Library of Medicine