Omega-3 LC-PUFA and reducing the risk of allergies
When the hypothesis relating polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to asthma was first proposed in the 1990s, opposite roles were attributed to omega-3 PUFA (reduction of inflammation) and omega-6 PUFA (mainly, arachidonic acid (AA), promotion of and inflammation). However, it has subsequently been shown that the actions of each are more complex and involve different mechanisms.
In a recently completed longitudinal study of 940 children by Magnusson et al. (from the Karolinska Instituted, Sweden) on the relationship between plasma PUFA composition and allergic disease, the highest ratios of omega-3 long-chain PUFA in the plasma phospholipids of 8-year-olds correlated inversely to the presence of asthma, rhinitis and sensitivity to airborne allergens at 16 years of age. These results support previously published findings on the influence of PUFA in the development of allergies during childhood.