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High-Fat Meal May Trigger Asthma
Date:5/16/2010

Study finds fatty foods lead to inflammation, reduced lung function

SUNDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- It's well known that food laden with fat isn't good for your heart, but now a new study suggests that fatty meals may affect lung function, too.

Australian researchers tested people with asthma before and after a high-fat meal or after a low-fat meal, and found that the high-fat meal increased inflammation and reduced lung function.

"This is the first study to look at the effects of a high-fat challenge on airway inflammation. Our preliminary results demonstrate that at four hours after the consumption of the food challenges, subjects who consumed the high-fat meal had an increase in airway inflammation. They also had an impaired response to [asthma medication]," said the study's lead author, Lisa Wood, a lecturer in biomedical sciences and pharmacy at the Hunter Medical Research Institute in New Lambton.

"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," Wood added.

The prevalence of asthma has increased significantly over the past few decades, and one factor that's been implicated in that rise is the typically high-fat Western diet. Dietary fat can activate an immune response and cause inflammation throughout the body, but the specific effects in the airway hadn't been previously studied, according to Wood.

Thirty non-obese people with asthma were recruited for the study, as well as 16 obese adults. The non-obese volunteers were randomly selected to receive either a high-fat or low-fat meal. The obese study participants were all given the high-fat meal.

The high-fat meal consisted of fast-food hamburgers and hash browns. The meal contained about 1,000 calories, including 60 grams of fat. That means about 50 percent of the meal came from fat. A normal meal should contain no
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