Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have many health benefits and now findings from a new study suggest they can reduce symptoms in people with mild asthma.
Having previously established that certain fatty acids contained in fish oil regulate the function of B cells, the study’s authors set out to further investigate the effects of certain specialised proresolving mediators (SPMs) on asthma.
Using cell cultures from 17 patients, the authors showed that the DHA-derived mediators, 17-HDHA and RvD1, reduced spontaneous as well as stimulated IgE production in B cells from asthma patients with a broad spectrum of disease severity.
However, omega-3 fatty acids were less effective in patients with severe asthma who used high doses of oral steroids, most likely due to suppression of endogenous resolution pathways by corticosteroids.
Writing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation-Insight , the authors said the findings suggest that specialised SPMs are important potential therapeutics for patients with allergic asthma. The findings also have important implications for the use of corticosteroids in chronic inflammatory diseases.