Plenty of fish helps asthmatic children breathe better

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Eating plenty of fatty fish—such as salmon and tuna—can help improve the lung function of children with asthma, a new study has found.

Children can see a big improvement in their breathing within six months after eating fish twice a week, say researchers at La Trobe University in Australia.


Lead researcher Maria Papamichael said the findings add to other research studies that demonstrate how asthma can be successfully treated almost exclusively with a healthy diet.

The researchers tested the diet on a group of 64 children who had mild asthma, half of whom ate at least 150 g of fatty fish twice a week, and the rest instead ate their normal diet.

By the end of the six-month trial, the children who had eaten the fatty fish diet had reduced bronchial inflammation by 14 units; a 10-unit reduction is considered 'significant'.

The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and these have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce asthma symptoms, the researchers said.

(Source: Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018; doi: 10.1111/jhn.12609)

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