Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Tricia D. LeVan, PhD

Second Committee Member

Abraham D. Mengist, PhD

Third Committee Member

Corrine K. Hanson, PhD, RD, LMNT, FAND


Asthma is one of the most common diseases in the world affecting more than 10% of adults in many westernized countries and 339 million globally. Studies have shown a positive association between increased dietary fiber and improvement in asthma-related inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help mitigate inflammation in general. No identified studies have looked at the synergistic effect of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids alone and as a ratio with fiber on asthma, lung function, and respiratory morbidities. A positive association could mean that dietary interventions of fiber and fatty acids could significantly improve asthma and asthma-related symptoms. Dietary interventions are especially attractive because they are inexpensive and can be easy to incorporate into daily routines. Using data from NHANES from year cycles 2007-2012, analysis through logistic regression was performed to find the association of the synergistic effect of fiber and the omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio on asthma and asthma-related symptoms in an adult U.S. population. Intake of fiber was found to be associated with cough (p-value=0.02), but that there was no significant association of omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids with asthma or asthma-related symptoms either alone or as a ratio. The role of omega-6 fatty acids in inflammation, whether pro- or anti-inflammatory, is still not fully understood, but even less is understood about the complex relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. The understanding of the interaction of fiber and omega fatty acids on asthma and asthma-related symptoms requires further study.