Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Linoleic Acid and Asthma

This is surprising:

"Higher intakes of n-3 PUFA, ALA and SFA were associated with good asthma control, while the risk for uncontrolled asthma increased with a higher n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio. The present results introduce a protective effect of ALA in asthma control, independent of marine n-3 fatty acids, and provide a rationale to dietary intervention studies in asthma."

Of course the other way to write that sentence is, "... the risk for uncontrolled asthma increased with higher consumption of the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid."  Linoleic acid is the primary fat in most seed oils, like corn and canola.

I wouldn't have expected this finding, but it makes sense, I suppose.   Linoleic acid seems to do a fine job of messing up your immune system, although most of what I'd read focused on how it surpressed it.  Wheat seemed to be responsible for most of the auto-immune effects.  Although cutting wheat from your diet also means you're going to eat a lot less linoleic acid, since the two together are the foundation of the processed-food industry.

Follow-up: the mechanism.