Reviewed by Michael Gill, B. Sc.
Image of Asthma Research Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, United States.
Phase-Based Progress Estimates

Coconut Oilfor Asthma

In this proof of concept study, the investigators aim to determine if supplementation with coconut oil causes an increase in cholecystokinin and cholecystokinin receptor expression in the airway smooth muscle of lean asthmatics, and whether these changes correlate with changes in airway stiffness (estimated by bronchodilator reversibility, airway reactivity, and airway resistance) or symptom control. The investigators propose a 5 week, single center trial in 20 lean patients with mild asthma (not taking inhaled corticosteroids) aged 18 and older. Subjects will supplement their usual diets with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, a commercially available oil with high dodecanoic acid content, for 3 weeks. To quantify changes in airway smooth muscle cholecystokinin and cholecystokinin-receptor expression, each subject will undergo bronchoscopy with endobronchial biopsies before and after coconut oil ingestion. For the secondary analysis, subjects will also complete spirometry with bronchodilator testing, methacholine challenge, body plethysmography, and an Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) before and after the dietary intervention. This information will be used to compare the changes in airway smooth muscle cholecystokinin and cholecystokinin receptor expression to changes in bronchodilator reversibility, airway reactivity, airway resistance, and symptom control. In the exploratory aims, the investigators will correlate the changes in airway smooth muscle cholecystokinin and cholecystokinin receptor expression with changes in FEV1 and peak flow measurements. The investigators therefore hope to elucidate information about the mechanistic role of cholecystokinin in airway smooth muscle stiffness and contraction.
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Asthma Research Center, Brigham and Women's HospitalElliot Israel, MD
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What Are Asthma Clinical Trials?

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes lung airways to swell and become inflamed, making breathing difficult. This disease affects adults and is a common occurrence in children. There is no cure for this disease, but asthma can be controlled by using an inhaler to prevent and relieve symptoms.

In some instances, asthma is induced when exercising or by irritants in the workplace, like chemicals, fumes, dust, or gases. Allergic irritations from pollen, spores, or pet dander can also trigger an asthma attack.

Clinical trials for asthma will test new and existing medicines and therapies. These trials will ensure the safe use and effectiveness of these treatments.

**Why Is Asthma Being Studied Through Clinical Trials? **

According to the Asthma Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), approximately 25 million people have asthma in the U.S. About 5.1 million children under the age of 18 have this disease.

Asthma is being researched to understand the disease, what causes it, how it progresses and develops, and how to treat it. Research also assists in finding out who is likely to get asthma, what triggers the disease, and how to avoid it.

What Are The Types of Treatments Available For Asthma?

Prevention and long-term treatment of asthma is the best way to stop attacks before they happen. Know what triggers attacks and take medication to keep symptoms under control. When you have an asthma flare-up, using a quick-relief inhaler will alleviate the symptoms.

Medications are prescribed according to age, symptoms, what triggers your asthma attack and what keeps it under control, as per the Mayo Clinic.

  • Medications for long-term asthma control – inhaled corticosteroids, combination inhalers, and oral medications like Leukotriene modifiers and Theophylline.

  • Rescue medications for quick relief – inhalers like short-acting beta-agonists, anticholinergic agents, and oral and intravenous corticosteroids.

  • For allergies – Immunotherapy Allery shots and Biologics medications.

What Are Some Recent Breakthrough Clinical Trials For Asthma?

Clinical trials have been ongoing through research and study to find the best treatments for people with asthma. Here are two recent clinical trials that have helped alleviate asthma symptoms and triggers.

2021: Research In Severe Asthma (RISA) Trial – this study monitors the safety and effect of the medication Alair System, a treatment for severe asthma. The study was carried out on 34 asthma patients, ages 18 to 65, from April 2004 to August 2006. The results were last verified in 2021, and the research was over 12 months. This medication indicated a better quality of life for people with asthma.

2021: Study To Evaluate The Effectiveness And Safety Of Tezepelumab – 150 adult asthma patients took part in this study from March 2018 to September 2020. It was last verified in November 2021. Tezepelumab was given to patients who used corticosteroids to control their asthma. The medication ezspire (Tezepelumab-ekko) is F.D.A. approved. It is an injection that a doctor will administer to asthma patients every four weeks.

Who Are Key Opinion Leaders In Asthma Clinical Trial Research?

Tina V. Hartert, M.D.M., P.H is the Center for Asthma Research Director and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Translational Science. She has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation. She believes the long-term solution to the asthma epidemic is disease prevention.

Dr. Kari Nadeau is one of the top leaders in asthma and allergy in adults and children. He is a director of the Sean N. Parker Center for asthma and allergy study at the University of Stanford. Dr. Nadeau studies asthma and allergy processes to identify, cure and prevent these disorders.

About The Author

Michael Gill preview

Michael Gill - B. Sc.

First Published: October 21st, 2021

Last Reviewed: October 11th, 2022

Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.