It seems that people suffering from asthma may need to skip eating fatty foods for now. A study conducted by researchers from Australia showed that fatty foods may worsen the symptoms caused by asthma and possibly make asthma medications less effective.
According to a team or researchers from the University of Newcastle, people who have eaten a meal high in fat just hours before showed an increase of inflammation of their airways as well as a substantial decrease of response to the drug albuterol (Ventolin) which is usually used to relieve asthma symptoms. Albuterol is a common medication for asthma and usually comes in the form of an inhaler. It relaxes the muscles in the airways and increases airflow into the lungs.
The study involved 40 subjects with asthma who were randomly fed with either a high-calorie and high fat meal consisting of fast food fare like burgers and hash browns or a low-fat, low-calorie meal composed mainly of low-fat yogurt. The high-fat meals contained 1,000 calories, more than half of which comes from fat. The low-fat meal contains 200 calories with only 13 percent of it sourced from fat. Sputum samples were also taken from the test subjects before and four hours after they eat their meals.
The results showed that the participants who ate the fatty meal also experienced increased airway inflammation and a reduced response to their asthma medication. Those who ate the low-fat meal didn’t show any of the said effects.
A high fat intake has already been previously known to trigger an immune system response that leads to a spike in blood markers of inflammation. But how a high-fat diet may have an impact on airway inflammation has not yet been looked into until this study.
The said study will be presented at the 2010 conference of the American Thoracic Society in New Orleans.