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 Jan. 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 six months. At six months, the groups were similar with regard to changes in urinary leukotriene-E4 (P = 0.24), forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration percent predicted (P = 0.88), and exacerbations (relative risk, [RR], 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.3 to 2.89). n3PUFA supplementation was associated with reduced asthma-related phone contacts (relative risk, 0.34; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.13 to 0.86; P = 0.02). 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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