FISH OIL & PROBIOTICS MAY REDUCE RISK OF CHILDHOOD ALLERGIES
A large number of studies have found that taking fish oil and probiotic supplements during pregnancy may cut the risk of childhood allergies.
A RISE IN CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES
Problems such as egg allergy and eczema have been on the increase in children in Australia, and are likely the result of an overactive immune system.
One theory behind this increase is that children’s immune systems don’t encounter as much bacteria as they once did.
A healthy diet is a vital component of any pregnancy. Ideally this should include two portions of fish a week. However, pregnant women need to be careful which fish they eat, as some contain low levels of pollutants that can build up in the body.
Fish oils may help calm the immune system, although more work needs to be done to identify the exact mechanisms involved.
FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS
Mothers who took a daily fish oil supplement after the 20th week of pregnancy and for up to 4 months of breastfeeding, reduced by 30% the risk of their child developing an egg allergy.
Taking probiotics may expose the developing immune system to more beneficial bacteria resulting in it being less sensitive to potential allergens.
It was found that eczema risk was reduced by 22% in children whose mothers took a probiotic between 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy.
Further, probiotics added good bacteria to your diet during the first 3 to 6 months of breastfeeding with a similar positive effect.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
The Govt research study involved an analysis of more than 400 studies that included 1.5 million mothers and children. It was commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency.
The research adds to the growing evidence suggesting that nutrient supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may have the potential to prevent childhood allergy and allergic disease.
YOUR NEXT STEP
If you are experiencing any problems during pregnancy contact Dr Gailani who will offer advice.
Otherwise if not already a patient possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Gailani at http://www.omargailani.com.au/contact/