Exercise can be a challenge for anyone with asthma. Playing a sport that gets the heart pumping and the respiratory system revved up can sometimes up the risk for an unwanted asthma attack. Here’s an alternative cure you might not have heard about in recent health news: fish oil.
Researchers from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University conducted a clinical trial to investigate two treatments for exercise-induced constriction of the bronchial airways. Both fish oil and “montelukast” have been shown in other studies to reduce the severity of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, or EIB. The Indiana research team compared the effects of fish oil and montelukast, alone and in combination. Montelukast is a drug that is often used in asthma treatment.
Twenty asthmatic subjects were recruited for the randomized double-blind trial. All the participants started the study on their usual diet and then were randomly assigned to receive either one active 10-mg montelukast tablet and 10 placebo fish oil capsules or one placebo montelukast tablet and 10 active fish oil capsules. The participants took the treatments daily for three weeks. For an additional three weeks, all the participants took a montelukast tablet or 10 fish oil capsules daily.
The researchers found that bronchial constriction was significantly inhibited by montelukast, fish oil, and the combination treatment compared to pre-treatment. They found no significant difference between treatment groups; all three treatments were associated with a significant reduction in asthma symptoms. However, fish oil also significantly reduced urinary “prostoglandin.” Prostoglandins are hormone-like substances that control the contraction and relaxation of muscle and regulate inflammation.
The research team concluded that fish oil and montelukast are both effective in stopping airway inflammation. Combining fish oil with montelukast did not confer a greater protective effect than either intervention alone. They rounded out their conclusions by stating fish oil supplementation should be considered as an alternative treatment for asthma.
To find out about other alternative cures for asthma and the breathing difficulties the condition can cause, follow this link: Treat Asthma with These Two Herbs.