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Certain Omega-3 May Reduce Inflammation in Asthma Sufferers

Findings published in the December 2008 issue of the journal Clinical Nutrition indicate that the omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is better at reducing inflammation in asthmatics than DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

EPA and DHA are the two most important forms of omega-3 fatty acids and each has been associated with a number of health benefits.

While DHA has been emphasised recently for its role in brain development, several studies have confirmed that EPA also provides several critical health benefits.  Studies indicate that EPA may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, dementia, heart disease and mood disorders like depression.

For this recent study, scientists from Indiana University and Loughborough University in England sought to determine which type of omega-3 fatty acid is most effective for reducing inflammation in people with asthma.

The researchers took cells from the lungs of 21 asthmatic adults and then grew them in cultures that contained either EPA, DHA, omega-6 fatty acids or nothing (the control). 

The researchers then measured several lipids and molecules used to identify inflammation inside the body like leukotrienes, prostaglandins and different types of cytokines. 

They found that EPA suppressed all of the indicators for inflammation much more effectively than any of the other treatments.  Both EPA and DHA reduced the inflammation markers better than omega-6 fatty acids or the control.

These findings are extremely important because they help identify specific benefits and functions related to the different types of omega-3s. This kind of research will hopefully help consumers make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing an omega-3 product that specifically addresses their needs. 

It is also important to remember that not all products are created equally. If you decide to use an omega-3 product, make sure the one you choose is certified for purity and potency by a reputable agency and contains at least 750mg of combined EPA and DHA.
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