A new study that suggests eating high fat- high energy meals may not be wise for those with asthma. The Australian research will be presented to the American Thoracic Society ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans Louisiana on May 14th -19th.
The number of asthma sufferers in western countries has been on the rise in recent years. Westernized diets now include much more fat that other parts of the world. For this reason, experts have tried to link environmental factors such as- diet as a contributing factor to asthma. Previous research has in fact shown that high fat diets do stimulate the immune system, thereby causing inflammation blood markers to be higher. However, this study is the first to look at how high fat meals particularly affect airway inflammation.
Dr. Lisa Wood, of the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, led the research. The research team monitored 40 asthma patients after they ate low fat low calorie meals vs. high fat high calorie meals. The high fat meals consisted of fast food burgers and hash browns, that totaled about 1,000 calories (50% fat.) The low fat meals consisted of reduced fat yogurt, that totaled about 200 calories (13% fat.) The researchers took sputum samples before the meal and four hours post meal to test for markers of inflammation. Within four hours of the consuming the high fat meals, those patients were showing signs of airway inflammation. The low fat meal patients were not showing any inflammation. The high fat meal also appeared to suppress the effectiveness of the asthma reliever, albuterol.
Specifically the results showed marked increase in airway neutrophils and TLR4 mRNA gene expression and reduced bronchodilator response in the high fat/calorie meal patients.
It is important to remember that this is the first study ever done about high fat/high calorie meals in relation to asthma. Other studies are needed before we label this as “fact.” However, if future studies confirm this research, we may start seeing doctors use reduced fat / calorie dieting as an element in asthma treatment
American Thoracic Society ATS 2010 International Conference
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