Burgers and Fries Aggravate Asthma

As if they weren't harmful enough already!

Burgers and Fries Aggravate Asthma

As if they weren’t harmful enough already!

-Jane Farrell

Woman using an inhaler

Asthma sufferers who ate a meal of hamburger and French fries showed increased inflammation in their airways, and did not respond to medicine as well as a group of people with asthma who ate a low-fat meal of yogurt, researchers say.

The study, conducted by the University of Newcastle, in England, is one of many research papers being presented this week at the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference, in New Orleans, according to the website www.LiveScience.com.

Read Ten Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking

Experts said there is increasing evidence that the rise in asthma can be caused by environmental and lifestyle factors In 2007, about 34.1 million Americans had asthma, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. From 1980 through 1994, the prevalence of asthma increased 75 percent.

Asthma causes inflammation of the airways and, consequently, severe coughing, breathlessness and wheezing. Other factors in its development include air pollution and smoke.

The University of Newcastle study showed that the people who ate the hamburger and fries had an increased number of cells, called neutrophils, in their airways. Neutrophils help trigger inflammation. The group also was less responsive to an asthma medication, Ventolin, than the people who ate a low-fat meal. Researchers speculated that the fatty acids in high-fat foods may interfere with the drug’s effectiveness. (LiveScience)

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