A clinical trial led by researchers from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia has found that eating seafood species high in good fats such as salmon, trout, and sardines as part of a healthy diet can reduce the symptoms of asthma in children.
National body Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has welcomed the new study, calling it a potential easy and effective treatment for asthma sufferers.
“Childhood asthma is the most common respiratory disorder worldwide. We know these species of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to help in the reduction of symptoms for other inflammatory conditions like arthritis,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.“This new research shows that following a diet which is high in oily fish could be an easy, safe, and effective way to reduce the symptoms of asthma in children which is fantastic news.”
The study, which was conducted in Greece, found that children with asthma who followed a healthy Mediterranean diet enriched with fatty fish showed improved lung function after a six-month period.
It followed 64 children aged five to 12 with mild asthma. Half of the test group consumed two meals of cooked fatty fish (of at least 150 grams) per week, while the other half followed their normal diet. After six months, those on the Mediterranean diet had significantly reduced their bronchial inflammation.
Lead researcher Maria Papamichael said the findings added to a growing body of evidence that a healthy diet, inclusive of seafood, could be a potential therapy for childhood asthma.
“Our study shows eating fish just twice a week can significantly decrease lung inflammation in children with asthma,” she said.