Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unique omega-3 supplement effective at reducing exercise-induced asthma symptoms

An Indiana University study has found that a unique omega-3 supplement derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel significantly improved lung function and reduced airway inflammation in asthmatics who experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, also called exercise-induced asthma.

Timothy Mickleborough, professor in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, said his findings are similar to his studies involving fish oil but required a much smaller dosage of the supplement. His new study, appearing online in the journal Respiratory Medicine, found a 59 percent improvement in lung function after an airway challenge, and a reduction in airway inflammation, asthma symptoms and use of emergency medication.

"Not only does it reduce symptoms, which will make you feel better, but it potentially could improve athletic performance," Mickleborough said. "Any time you can reduce medication is good."

In exercise-induced asthma, vigorous exercise triggers an acute narrowing of the airway afterward, making breathing difficult. Other symptoms include coughing, tightening of the chest and excessive fatigue. About 90 percent of people with asthma have this condition, which also is found in an estimated 10 percent or more of elite athletes and as much as 10 percent of the general population without asthma.

Mickleborough's study used Lyprinol/Omega XL, which contains PCSO-524, a patented extract of stabilized lipids from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, combined with olive oil and vitamin E. PCSO-524 includes the five main lipid classes: sterol esters, sterols, polar lipids, triglycerides and free fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Previous studies involving PCSO-524 have found it to be effective in treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Mickleborough's study is the first to show that it is effective in reducing the airway inflammation experienced by asthmatic study participants diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma.

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