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Monday, July 13, 2015

Fatty foods may cause and trigger asthma

The following was originally published on July 23, 2014, on

High Fat Diets May Cause Asthma in Children

Asthma rates have risen dramatically in recent years. While there are many theories for this, the theory that a diet high in fatty foods -- such as onion rings, french fries, fried chicken, Big Macs, Whoppers -- and obesity in general may both trigger an asthma attack and cause one to develop asthma.

In my article “Can Eating High Fat Foods Trigger Asthma?” I discussed one theory that suggests asthmatic immune systems might recognize saturated fat as an enemy and promptly acts to rid it from the body.

I said: “This response results in an increase in markers of inflammation such as leukotrienes and hystamine, and these increase inflammation in your respiratory tract. This causes muscles lining your air passages to constrict, and thus an asthma attack is the result.”

In my article “Does Obesity Cause Asthma?” I discussed how fat tissue releases a hormone called leptin, which may cause inflammation of the air passages. Leptin is elevated in people who are obese.

I noted how some studies suggest that when air passages are inflamed for a long enough period of time, such as might occur due to obesity or a poor diet high in fatty foods, this inflammation may become permanent, resulting in asthma, a disease associated with chronically inflamed airways.

A recent study performed at Bristol University provides us with stunning evidence in support of this theory. It suggests that children with a high body mass index (BMI), or those who are obese, are at a greater risk for developing asthma.

The study looked at 4,385 children under the age of seven, according to the UK's Daily Mail. The article notes the following:

“A weighted genetic score based on 32 independent BMI-related DNA sequence variations was calculated, and associations with BMI, fat mass, lean mass, and asthma were estimated.

The research found that the genetic score was strongly associated with BMI, fat mass, and lean mass, and with childhood asthma, and that the relative risk of asthma increased by 55 percent for every extra unit of BMI."

This is a significant finding. There are many theories about asthma that suggest that modern civilization is causing this disease. Yet now we learn that a poor diet, and a sedentary life, may be what is causing asthma. 

If this theory is true, then it might be possible to reduce the prevalence of asthma in children simply by better parenting. We need to encourage our children to put down their electronic devices and to become more active. We must also keep them away from fatty foods, such as those sold at Burger King, KFC, and McDonald's.

We also must do the same for ourselves. Since evidence is pointing to fat cells as a potential cause of asthma, then it’s time we all start to take better care of ourselves in order to reduce asthma flare-ups and prevent the disease altogether.

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