LTC4 synthase polymorphism modifies efficacy of botanical seed oil combination in asthma

Shamsah Kazani, Jonathan P. Arm, Joshua Boyce, Heng Chhay, Stefanie Dutile, Michael E. Wechsler, Usha Govindarajulu, Priscilla Ivester, Hannah C. Ainsworth, Susan Sergeant, Floyd H. Chilton, Elliot Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Botanical seed oils reduce the generation of leukotrienes in patients with asthma.

Our objective was to determine the efficacy of a botanical seed oil combination against airflow obstruction in asthma, and to determine the pharmacogenomic effect of the leukotriene C4 synthase (LTC4S) polymorphism A-444C.

We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over clinical trial in mild to moderate asthmatics to determine the change in FEV1 after 6 weeks of therapy with borage and echium seed oils versus corn oil placebo. We also examined the effect of the variant LTC4S -444C allele on the change in lung function.

We did not identify a difference in FEV1 in the study cohort as a whole (n = 28), nor in the group of A homozygotes. In the C allele carriers (n = 9), FEV1 improved by 3% after treatment with borage and echium seed oils and declined by 4% after placebo corn oil (p = 0.02). All 9 C allele carriers demonstrated an improvement in their FEV1 on active treatment compared to placebo as compared to only 7 out of 19 A allele homozygotes (p = 0.007). We observed transient differences in ex vivo leukotriene generation from circulating basophils and granulocytes. We did not observe significant differences in urinary LTE4 levels.

We conclude that compared to corn oil, a combination of borage and echium seed oils improves airflow obstruction in mild to moderate asthmatics who carry the variant allele in the LTC4S gene (A-444C). Botanical oil supplementation may have therapeutic potential in asthma if used in a personalized manner.

Trial registration: This trial was registered at as NCT00806442.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number661
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Borage oil
  • Echium oil
  • LTC synthase
  • Leukotrienes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'LTC4 synthase polymorphism modifies efficacy of botanical seed oil combination in asthma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this