The primary aim of medical and scientific research on cystic fibrosis is to understand, treat and cure cystic fibrosis. An inherited disease, cystic fibrosis is thought to affect about 30,000 Americans and is the most common, life-shortening genetic disease known. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disease caused by a defective gene and affecting about 30,000 children in America. Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, the University of Massachusetts and Massachusetts General Hospital took tissue samples from 38 patients with cystic fibrosis. It was found they had extremely high levels of arachidonic acid (AA) and abnormally low levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). People who did not have CF did not have the fatty acids imbalance.
Researchers believe that many of the symptoms of cystic fibrosis follow the same pattern: mutated gene produces a mutated glycoconjugate resulting in a defective cellular component. There are approximately ten million symptomless carriers of the defective cystic fibrosis gene in America. They say too much of one acid and too little of another means patients’ bodies are more prone to inflammation.
In the New England Journal of Medicine, they suggest Omega-3 oils, found in fish, could help correct the imbalance. Each week three young people in the UK die from the disease, which is caused by the faulty CFTR gene. CF causes an abnormally thick, sticky mucus to be produced in the body, causing chronic inflammation of the lungs leading to life-threatening infections. The average life expectancy for a person with CF is around 31.
To diagnose cystic fibrosis, the laboratory carries out a sweat test. When the lungs and airways are choked, the cystic fibrosis patient coughs and produces very thick sputum. The authors concluded that forced ionisation of the indoor air represents a natural and efficient treatment for respiratory diseases in patients with cystic fibrosis.
When the cystic fibrosisTR is not normal, the regulation of salt through the membranes becomes defective. In the respiratory system the thin mucus lining becomes thick and sticky. As the digestive juices do not reach the intestine, due to blocked ducts from the pancreas and liver, the fats and protein are not digested. Dr Steven Freedman of the gastroenterology division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who led the research, said: “Since 1989, we have known that the defective CFTR gene is responsible for CF. “But we didn’t understand how this defective gene leads to the symptoms of the disease. “This new study sheds light on what may be happening and provides a link between CFTR function and fatty acid metabolism.” He added: “It is known that high amounts of AA and low amounts of DHA would predispose to inflammation. “This discovery may help explain why there is an excessive inflammatory response among CF patients. “This is the basis for why Omega-3 fish oils, found in cold-water fish as well as supplements, reduce inflammation since they increase levels of DHA and suppress AA.”
‘No diet change’
Dr Adam Jaffe, head of the CF Research Group at London’s Institute of Child Health, told BBC News Online the research was interesting but not conclusive.”Patients shouldn’t change their diet based on spurious associations between fatty acids and inflammation. “But I would not be against them adding supplements to their diets.”
Written by ebglory
tags: Cystic, Fibrosis, Omega