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Polygence Scholar2021
Samyuktha Natesan's profile

Samyuktha Natesan

Dougherty Valley High SchoolClass of 2023San Ramon, California


Hello, my name is Samyuktha Natesan, and I completed my Polygence project over the summer of 2021. My project was a review paper about how dietary fiber could be a valuable supplementary therapy for asthma (among other inflammatory conditions) through its specific cytokine production. I was able to publish this paper in the International Journal of High School Research (IJHSR) in fall, 2022! I was able to work with Andrea Merchak, who has been a great resource and mentor even after I finished the publication process in my project.

Project Portfolio

Review Paper: The Effects of Dietary Fiber on Asthma through Cytokine Production

Started Apr. 14, 2021

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Abstract or project description

Asthma is a chronic disease that harms both adults and children, causing symptoms such as debilitating shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and in severe cases, even death. There is no cure for asthma, only therapies that can help control asthma symptoms. One significant, under-examined possibility for a supplement to these therapies is dietary fiber. Dietary fiber, found in various everyday foods including grains, fruits, and vegetables, can maintain gut health and a balanced gut microbiome, which improves the body’s immune system and overall health. This paper will review evidence for the relationships between asthma and dietary fiber - specifically how dietary fiber could be used as a supplementary therapy. One of the byproducts of the fermentation of dietary fiber are short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). One significant function of SCFAs is that they can regulate the production of cytokines. This review paper will examine the benefits of dietary fiber on asthma through SCFA production and the resulting decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines; this paper will reveal gaps in knowledge in which clinicians may examine how diet can affect inflammatory diseases like asthma.