High-fat meals not advised for asthmatics

May 18, 2010 at 1:07 AM

NEW ORLEANS, May 18 (UPI) -- Increased airway inflammation occurs hours after a high-fat meal in people with asthma, researchers in Australia found.

Lisa Wood, research fellow of the University of Newcastle, and colleagues conducted a study involving 40 asthmatic subjects randomized to receive either a high-fat, high-calorie "Westernized" meal of fast-food burgers and hash browns -- amounting to 1,000 calories, 52 percent from fat -- or a low-calorie meal of reduced fat yogurt amounting to 200 calories, 13 percent from fat.

"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," Wood said in a statement. "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."

Albuterol relaxes airway muscles and increases air flow to the lungs. The observation that a high-fat meal affected the asthmatic response to albuterol was unexpected, Wood said.

The study is scheduled to presented at the ATS International Conference in New Orleans.

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