Love fish? Consuming them on a regular basis may help slash risk of asthma. Eating fish oil, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, could help reduce the risk by nearly 70 per cent, says a study. Fish oil is dubbed as one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. It is enriched with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or n-3 and contains omega fatty acids 3 and 6, which is known to play a crucial role in brain development and facilitate functioning of central nervous system.
The study found that "certain types of n-3 (from marine oils) were significantly associated with a decreased risk of having asthma or asthma-like symptoms by up to 62 per cent, while high n-6 consumption (from vegetable oils) was associated with an increased risk by up to 67 per cent," said Andreas Lopata, Professor from the James Cook University in Australia.
Asthma is a condition where a person's airways become inflamed, narrow or constricted due to extra mucous production, making it difficult to breathe. About 334 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, a quarter of a million people die from it every year.
The team studied 642 people who worked in a fish processing factory in a village in South Africa.
"Even if you factor in contaminants, such as mercury found in some fish populations, the benefits of fish and seafood intake far more outweighs the potential risks," Lopata said, in the paper published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The scientists emphasised on the need of further studies to understand how the beneficial role of n-3 could be optimised and minimise the negative effects of n-6.
(With inputs IANS)