Sunday, 9 August 2009

Fish oil in pregnancy linked with reduced allergy risk fo children

A new study from Sweden published in the journal Acta Paediatrica [Acta Paediatr. 2009 Jun 1 ePub ahead of print] found at has found that Omega 3–rich fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce the risk of food allergy and eczema in children.

The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, followed 145 pregnant women who had allergies or had partners or other children with allergies [which makes this group at high risk for having children with allergies.

From the 25th week of pregnancy until between 3 and 4 months breastfeeding, the women were randomly assigned to receive either:

1. daily fish oil supplements providing 1.6 g of eicosapentaenoic acid
(EPA)and 1.1 g of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
2. or placebo.

Children born to the group of mothers who were given Omega 3's had a 2% incidence of allergy, compared to a 15% rate for the babies in the control/placebo group.

Another finding was that the incidence of allergic eczema was reduced by 2/3rds (8% in the omega-3 infant group, compared to 24% in the placebo group).

How this works is because Omega-3 fatty acids compete with the Omega-6s therefore lessening the release of arachidonic acid (AA) and inflammatory prostaglandins, which create havoc in our cells.

Another example of how important nutrition is and how nutrition must be the first line of primary health care!

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