Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Food Affects Behaviour: 20+ Years of FAB Research – What next? - BOOK HERE

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Intake Modifies Asthma Severity and Response to Indoor Air Pollution in Children

Brigham EP, Woo H, McCormack M, Rice J, Koehler K, Vulcain T, Wu T, Koch A, Sharma S, Kolahdooz F, Bose S, Hanson C, Romero K, Diette G, Hansel NN (2019) Am J Respir Crit Care Med.  2019 Mar.  doi: 10.1164/rccm.201808-1474OC. [Epub ahead of print] 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here



Higher indoor particulate matter (PM) concentrations are linked with increased asthma morbidity. Dietary intake of fatty acids, also linked with asthma outcomes, may influence this relationship.


Determine (1) the relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid intake and pediatric asthma morbidity, and (2) the association between fatty acid intake and strength of indoor, PM-related asthma symptoms, albuterol use, and systemic inflammation.


Analyses included 135 children with asthma enrolled in the AsthmaDIET Study. At baseline, 3, and 6 months, data included: week-long average home indoor concentration of PM2.5 and PM10, dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, daily symptoms, and peripheral blood leukocytes. Asthma severity and lung function were assessed at baseline. Multivariable regression models, adjusted for known confounders, were used to determine associations between each fatty acid and outcomes of interest, with interaction terms (fatty acids x PM) in longitudinal analyses.


Higher omega-6 intake associated with increased odds of increased asthma severity (p=0.02), and lower FEV1/FVC ratio (p=0.01). Higher omega-3 intake associated with reduced effect of indoor PM2.5 on symptoms (p<0.01), while higher omega-6 intake associated with amplified effect of indoor PM2.5 on symptoms and circulating neutrophil percentage (p<0.01).


Omega-3 and omega-6 intake are associated with pediatric asthma morbidity, and may modify the asthmatic response to indoor PM.


See the associated news article: