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Asthma support

EPA and DHA Comparable to Singulair® in Relieving Symptoms of Exercise-Induced Asthma

A clinical trial at Indiana University compared EPA+DHA to prescription montelukast sodium (a.k.a. Singulair), and found similar success in relieving symptoms of exercise-induced asthma. This study followed a previous trial with elite athletes that confirmed the ability of these omegas to suppress proinflammatory cytokines and eicosonoids. With only montelukast approved by the USFDA to treat exercised-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), the promise of similar benefits from fish oil warrants closer attention.

The randomised double-blind trial included both male and female subjects (n=20) aged 18–27 with documented hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction. After joining the trial on their typical diet, participants were randomly assigned to two different treatment groups. One group received one tablet of montelukast sodium 10 mg and ten soft gels of Nordic Naturals placebo ProOmega®, while the other received one placebo montelukast tablet and ten soft gels of active ProOmega (3.2 g EPA + 2.0 g DHA). These dosage combinations were administered daily, for three weeks. Following this phase, all participants received another three weeks of treatment with both the active montelukast tablet and the active ProOmega soft gels. To measure the effects of treatment, subjects were challenged with a Eucapnic Voluntary Hyperventilation (EVH) exercise upon joining, and following each treatment phase of the trial, during which signs of EIB were monitored. These biomarkers included pulmonary function, the presence of cysteinyl-leukotrienes in exhaled breath, 9α and 11 β-Prostaglandin F2 in urine, and levels of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO). Results showed similar and significant effectiveness in reducing symptoms of EIB by both EPA+DHA and montelukast, even though combining these treatments did not extend benefits beyond either treatment alone.

These results are encouraging given the limited options—and documented side effects—of available medications for exercise-induced asthma. Along with conventional approaches, “it is clear that fish oil supplementation should be considered as an alternative treatment for EIB.”

1 1. Tecklenburg-Lund S, et al. Randomized Controlled Trial of Fish Oil and Montelukast and their Combination on Airway Inflammation and Hyperpnea-Induced Bronchoconstriction. PLoS One Oct 2010; 5:10 1–10.

True Medicine only recommends fish oils by Nordic Naturals – clean and pure without toxins.