Effects of dietary supplementation with n-3 fatty acids compared with n-6 fatty acids on bronchial asthma

Intern Med. 2000 Feb;39(2):107-11. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.39.107.


Objective: The effects of perilla seed oil (n-3 fatty acids) on bronchial asthma were compared with the effects of corn oil (n-6 fatty acids) in relation to the pulmonary function and the generation of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and C4 (LTC4) by leucocytes.

Methods and subjects: 14 asthmatic subjects were divided randomly into two groups: one group (7 subjects) consumed perilla seed oil-rich supplementation and the other group (7 subjects) consumed corn oil-rich supplementation for 4 weeks. Generation of LTs by leucocytes and respiratory function were compared between the two groups.

Results: The generation of LTB4 and LTC4 by leucocytes tended to increase in subjects (N=7) with corn oil-rich supplementation, and decrease in subjects (N=7) with perilla seed oil-rich supplementation. Significant differences between the two groups were observed in the generation of LTB4 at 2 weeks (p<0.05) and LTC4 at 2 weeks (p<0.05) after dietary supplementation. Significant increases in the value of PEF (p<0.05), FVC (p<0.01), FEV(1.0) (p<0.05) and V(25) (p<0.05) were found in subjects who received perilla seed oil supplementation for 4 weeks. And significant differences in the value of FVC (p<0.05) and FEV(1.0) (p<0.05) were observed between the two groups after 4 weeks of dietary supplementation.

Conclusion: These results suggest that perilla seed oil-rich supplementation is useful for the treatment of asthma in terms of suppression of LTB4 and LTC4 generation by leucocytes, and improvement of pulmonary function.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / diet therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Corn Oil / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Leukotriene B4 / blood
  • Leukotriene C4 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Treatment Outcome
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / administration & dosage


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Plant Oils
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Leukotriene B4
  • Leukotriene C4
  • perilla seed oil
  • Corn Oil