The right diet in preganancy could reduce wheeze and eczema

Although this area of research is 'still developing' studies conducted by Dr Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and colleagues found that foods high in beta carotene and vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, taken in pregnancy, may lessen the risk of having a wheezy or eczematous infant.

Dr Miyake's team evaluated vegetable and fruit intake during pregnancy of 763 women and their offspring's early-age eczema or allergic wheeze. The women were 30 years old on average and about 17 weeks pregnant when they reported personal and medical history. When their babies were between 16 and 24 months old, the women provided birth and breastfeeding history, number of older siblings, and exposure to smoke.

The team found that 21% of the youngsters wheezed or had a "whistling in the chest in the last 12 months," and fewer than 19% had eczema. The mothers who ate greater amounts of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruits, or beta carotene while pregnant were less apt to have an infant with eczema.

For example, after allowing for other eczema risk factors, eczema was more common among infants of mothers who ate the least versus the most green and yellow vegetables - 54 and 32 infants, respectively.

Likewise, higher intake of vitamin E during pregnancy was associated a reduced likelihood of having a wheezy infant - a finding that supports previous investigations from the US and UK.

Allergy, online January 22, 2010.

Courtesy of Reuters

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