HealthDay News — Omega-3 fatty acid (n3PUFA) supplements do not appear to improve asthma control in teens and young adults who are overweight or obese, according to a study published online January 25 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Jason E. Lang, MD, MPH, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues conducted a multicenter trial in which 98 teens and young adults (aged 12 to 25 years) with overweight/obesity and uncontrolled asthma were randomly assigned in a 3-to-1 ratio to n3PUFA (4 g/day) or soy oil control for 24 weeks.

The researchers found that n3PUFA treatment increased the n3-to-n6 PUFA ratio in circulating granulocytes and monocytes but did not affect mean change in the Asthma Control Questionnaire at 6 months. At 6 months, the groups were similar with regard to changes in urinary leukotriene-E4 (P=.24), forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration percent predicted (P=.88), and exacerbations (relative risk, [RR], 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.3 to 2.89). n3PUFA supplementation was associated with reduced asthma-related phone contacts (relative risk, 0.34; 95% confidence interval, 0.13 to 0.86; P=.02). In addition, n3PUFA treatment response was not affected by the ALOX5 genotype. 

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“We did not find evidence that n3PUFA use improves most asthma-related outcomes and cannot recommend it as a prevention strategy for overweight/obese patients with asthma,” the authors write.

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