May 18/AFP - RELAXNEWS -- Avoid eating meals high in fat, especially if suffering from asthma, urges Australian researchers after finding the fat leads to inflamed breathing passages and hinders drug interventions.
Lisa Wood, PhD, research fellow and lecturer in the biomedical sciences and pharmacy department of Hunter Medical Research Institute, at the University of Newcastle, led the study with a team of researchers. The researchers challenged 14 non-obese asthmatics and 16 obese participants to a high-fat diet (1,000 calories with 52%/60g of fat) of burgers and fried potatoes and another group of 16 non-obese asthmatics to eat a low-fat yogurt diet (200 calories, 13%/3g fat). "Induced sputum samples were collected at baseline and at four hours" according to the study's abstract.
"Subjects who had consumed the high-fat meal had an increase in airway neutrophils and TLR4 mRNA gene expression from sputum cells. That didn't occur following the low-fat meal, " said Wood.
She continued, "The high-fat meal impaired the asthmatic response to albuterol. In subjects who had consumed a high-fat meal, the post-albuterol improvement in lung function at three and four hours was suppressed."
The researchers were surprised to find that the fatty diet also impacted the effectiveness of asthma medications, like albuterol. Wood added, "This is the first study to show that a high-fat meal increases airway inflammation, so this is a very important finding. The observation that a high-fat meal changes the asthmatic response to albuterol was unexpected, as we hadn't considered the possibility that this would occur."
It is unclear how and why fat not only inflames the airways but also prevents known asthma therapies from working. The researchers intend to design "more studies to investigate this effect. We are also investigating whether drugs that modify fat metabolism could suppress the negative effects of a high-fat meal in the airways. If these results can be confirmed by further research, this suggests that strategies aimed at reducing dietary fat intake may be useful in managing asthma."
To view the abstract, visit: https://cms.psav.com/cAbstract/itinerary/title.html.
From the May 24, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition