American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for November 2003 (second issue)

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that 3 weeks of dietary supplementation with fish oil capsules markedly reduces the severity of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in elite athletes. The investigators conducted a randomized, double-blind crossover study in 10 elite athletes with EIB and 10 elite athletes without EIB. The participants entered the study on their normal diet. They then received either fish oil capsules containing omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) or placebo capsules filled with olive oil daily for 3 weeks. In subjects with EIB, the n-3 PUFA diet improved post-exercise pulmonary function compared with normal and placebo diets. (EIB is a condition characterized by transient airway narrowing either during or after exercise, which results in a reduction in post-exercise pulmonary function.) When measured at 15 minutes post-exercise, pulmonary function test results showed a 3 percent decrease in PUFA diet participants, compared with a 14.5 percent decrease on the placebo diet, and a 17.3 percent decrease on the normal diet. Pro-inflammatory mediators all decreased significantly on the fish oil diet compared with the other two diets. Involved in the study were 10 triathletes, 5 cross-country runners, and 5 track runners. Participants were equally divided between males and females. The study appears in the second issue for November 2003 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


Swedish investigators report on a randomized, placebo-controlled study showing that the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine (PHYS) reduces sleep-disordered breathing, mostly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, in patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The investigators studied 10 male patients between the ages of 35 and 56 who had OSA by infusing th

Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society

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