[Narrator] You probablyknow somebody who has asthma.
You may even have it yourself.
It can cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, wheezing, and coughing.
In western countries, one in five kids is now diagnosed with asthmabefore their fifth birthday.
That’s more than doublethe number it used to be.
But, what if a simple supplement could prevent asthma in the first place? Researchers at COPSAC andthe University of Waterloo had a hunch that the risingrates of childhood asthma might be linked to our decreasing intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
This specific type of omega-3 is found in cold-water fish, and is a key to regulatingour immune responses.
To test their hypothesis, the researchers recruited736 expectant mothers and divided the group in two.
For the third trimesterof their pregnancy, half the women were given 2.
4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily.
The other half were given placebo pills.
The researchers monitoredchanges to the level of omega-3 in the women’s blood until just after the babies were born.
Now let’s fast-forward to when those kids are five years old.
The children whose motherstook the supplements had a 31% reduced riskof developing asthma.
More surprising, the kids whose moms had the lowest levels ofomega-3 in their blood at the beginning of the study had their risk for asthma cut by 54%.
By more than 1/2.
While the causes ofasthma can be complicated, these new findings will equip parents with a frontline defenseto help prevent it, moving us one step closer to making asthma a thing of the past.
More Information: Asthma Attacks