Fish and dairy prod­ucts can pro­tect chil­dren from al­ler­gies

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

NEW re­search from Swe­den sug­gests that eat­ing oily fish while preg­nant or breast­feed­ing, and in­tro­duc­ing fish to chil­dren at a young age, may pro­tect against al­ler­gies later in life.

The study by Karin Jon­s­son, a PhD stu­dent from the divi­sion of Food and Nu­tri­tion Science at Chalmers University of Tech­nol­ogy in Swe­den, looked at how the di­ets of chil­dren raised on farms as well as the di­ets of their moth­ers can af­fect the risk of de­vel­op­ing al­ler­gies.

Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have shown that farm-raised chil­dren are very sel­dom al­ler­gic.

Jon­s­son used data from the Farm­flora Birth co­hort, which was set up to re­search what kind of protection a farm­ing en­vi­ron­ment could pro­vide against al­ler­gies, and in­cluded a to­tal of 65 chil­dren in the study.

The chil­dren were as­sessed for any ex­ist­ing food al­ler­gies, asthma, eczemas or hay fever.

From the 28 chil­dren liv­ing on farms, just one was al­ler­gic at the age of three years. In the con­trol group, 10 out of 37 chil­dren had al­ler­gies at the same age.

Jon­s­son was sur­prised to see that the strong­est link be­tween diet and al­ler­gies came from eat­ing fish, as eat­ing fish is not di­rectly linked to liv­ing on a farm.

How­ever, the re­sults showed that the healthy chil­dren had higher lev­els of the omega-3 fatty acid eicos­apen­taenoic acid (EPA) in their blood at birth and at four months of age, which cor­re­sponded with the moth­ers’ high in­take of fish dur­ing preg­nancy and breast­feed­ing.

The chil­dren’s con­sump­tion of seafood by one year of age was also associated with lower fre­quency of al­lergy.

Sim­i­larly, the type of dairy con­sumed also had an ef­fect on al­ler­gies.

Farm moth­ers ate more high-fat dairy prod­ucts and sat­u­rated fats dur­ing preg­nancy and breast­feed­ing and fed their chil­dren more of these food prod­ucts in the first 12 months of life.

In ad­di­tion, Jon­s­son noted that in­tro­duc­ing fish and eggs into chil­dren’s di­ets be­fore 11 months of age re­duced the risk of de­vel­op­ing al­ler­gies. – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.