Omega-3s may protect children against allergies

Supplementing pregnant women with fish oil has been found to reduce the risk of infant eczema and sensitisation. A study carried out at the University of Western Australia has found that fish oil supplements increase blood serum levels of eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (also known as omega 3 fatty acids), and decrease allergic responses to dust mite at six months of age.

The study involved 420 infants with a high risk of atopy receiving either 280mg DHA and 110 EPA or the control daily from birth to 6 months. The researchers collected the blood from 120 infants at age six months, and assessed allergies at 6 months and 12 months. Those on the fish oil supplementation had higher levels of DHA and EPA in their blood, and lower immune responses to dust mite.

Source: Clinical and Experimental Allergy

July 2012


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