Using omega-3 supplements had no benefit during a 3-week treatment period for participants with asthma, according to new study results.
“This study demonstrates that a high daily dose of an omega-3 fatty acid supplement has no effect on either [bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR)] to mannitol or sputum eosinophil percentage in subjects with mild to moderate asthma in association with no changes in asthma symptom control,” John D. Brannan, PhD, of Westmead Hospital in Australia, and colleagues, wrote.
The researchers conducted a double blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial on 23 participants to determine whether supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids could impede BHR to inhaled mannitol to assess the efficacy of omega-3 supplements in people with mild to moderate BHR.
Participants were randomized to a 3-week supply of 10 capsules daily of either a matched placebo containing a blend of omega-6 and omega-9 or a ratio of omega-3 supplements that included 400 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 200 mg docosahexaenoic acid.
There were no improvements in lung function or asthma symptoms with the omega-3 supplements, nor any changes in asthma control or quality of life scores (P < .05).
Although the current data do not show omega-3 supplements benefit asthma treatment, the researchers wrote, more studies are needed.
“These data suggest that in people with asthma, high daily doses of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils are not an alternative or additive treatment strategy for asthma,” the investigators concluded. – by Ryan McDonald
Disclosure: Brannan reports receiving a 10% share of the royalties paid to his previous employer, the Sydney South Area Health Service, where the bronchial provocation test Aridol/Osmohale was developed. These royalties are paid by Pharmaxis.