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EPA, DHA Intake From Fish May Reduce Childhood Asthma Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2021 -- Higher intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish in childhood is associated with a lower risk for childhood asthma among children with a common fatty acid desaturase (FADS) variant, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Mohammad Talaei, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues estimated dietary intakes of EPA and DHA from fish using a food frequency questionnaire at age 7 years. Associations between intake and incidence of doctor-diagnosed asthma at age 11 or 14 years were analyzed. The potential effect modification by FADS polymorphism (rs1535) was examined.

Overall, the researchers found no evidence of an association between EPA plus DHA intake from fish with incident asthma in 4,543 participants. On stratification by FADS genotype, the odds ratio was 0.49 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 0.79; P trend, 0.006) when comparing the top versus bottom quartile among 2,025 minor G allele carriers; for the homozygous major A allele group, no inverse association was observed (odds ratio, 1.43; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.83 to 2.46; P trend, 0.19). The interaction was replicated in the Swedish BAMSE birth cohort.

"Whilst we cannot say for certain that eating more fish will prevent asthma in children, based on our findings, it would nevertheless be sensible for children in the United Kingdom to consume more fish, as few currently achieve recommended intake," a coauthor said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Nestle Nutrition.

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Posted: February 2021

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