Nutrition Research Group, Asthma and Respiratory Diseases
Qian Li Evan Williams Rebecca Zapirain Hashim Periyalil
This group are investigating nutritional approaches to managing respiratory diseases, including asthma and COPD.
There is great consumer interest in nutritional approaches to managing these diseases, however, there has been a paucity of good quality scientific evidence to indicate how diets should be modified to assist in disease management.
The group are working towards addressing this need. In 2015, there were 4 main themes:
A clinical trial was conducted, examining how soluble fibre modulates airway inflammation in asthma and a clinical trial was commenced examining how diet quality affects exacerbation risk, anti-viral responses and epigenetic mechanisms in children with asthma.
Previous work has shown that excessive consumption of fatty acids increases airway inflammation and reduces the efficacy of bronchodilator medications (ie ventolin) in asthma. In 2015 the group completed a clinical study which examined the effects of different types of macronutrients and fatty acids.
The group have been collecting adipose tissue from patients during bariatric surgery, investigating how obesity effects the function of macrophages derived from this tissue and relating this to asthma severity and symptoms.