Omega-3 and the control of asthma


Asthma, a disease that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways, is the most usual chronic illness in childhood and often occurs together with allergy. If the child’s asthma is not well controlled, permanent changes in lung function can be produced.

The research on omega-3 has shown that these nutrients play an important role in the prevention and resolution of respiratory illnesses and allergy, beeing beneficial for the treatment of children with asthma and the prevention of its development. As a consequence of these studies, it is recommended to include specific amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of infants, children and their mothers (maternal intake arrives to the baby via the placenta before birth and, after, via breast milk): pregnant and lactating women should consume at least 200-250 mg of DHA daily; infants who are not breastfed should consume a supplement of DHA similar to that found in breast milk and that diet should continue to provide sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids through childhood. In preterm infants, a higher level of omega-3 in breast milk has also been associated with less asthma and maternal supplementation during lactation with reduced incidence of respiratory illnesses.

DHA must be taken in sufficient quantity and concentration.

Hageman JHJ,Hooyenga P, Diersen-Schade DA et al. The Impact of Dietary Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Respiratory Illness in Infants and Children. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2012;12(6):564-573.
MedLine. Asthma – children