Otago University researchers have revealed that asthma sufferers may benefit from feather bedding rather than a synthetic one.
The researchers arrived at this conclusion after assessing 178 samples obtained from 35 floors, 35 mattresses, 35 duvets and 73 pillows. Their contention is that feather bedding contains a lesser amount of fungal presence than synthetic bedding, which reduces asthmatic attacks.
The study found that beta glucan levels in synthetic pillows was two to three times higher than feather pillows.
"This study adds further strong evidence in a New Zealand setting that feather bedding is better than synthetics if you have asthma," said lead investigator Rob Siebers. "This is because beta glucan is pro-inflammatory and associated with lung function changes, including peak flow variability in children."
The researchers added that further studies were needed to assess exactly how much beta glucans could cause asthma. The details of the study are published in the Journal of Asthma.