Can what you eat during pregnancy affect allergy risks?
Imperial College London reported a study at the end of February this year regarding probiotic and fish oil supplements. The study, one of the largest ever, involving 1.5 million people in 400 separate studies, looked at how diet can affect baby's risk of having eczema or one of the many allergies common among children.
It makes an interesting read and the studies looked at not only the effect taking probiotics and supplements during pregnancy can have on baby's allergy risk but also whether avoiding certain foods such as peanuts, eggs and dairy foods make any difference to the likelihood of a child developing allergies to these foods.
The studies found that the risk of allergy in their a child was reduced by 30% if mum took a daily fish oil capsule from 20 weeks pregnant onwards and continued this through the first three to four months while breastfeeding.
They also found a reduction of 22% in the risk of a child developing eczema when mum took a daily probiotic supplement from 36 to 38 weeks pregnant, continuing through the first 6 months of breastfeeding.
As well as probiotics and fish oil, research also assessed other dietary factors such as vegetables, fruits and vitamin supplement intake but there was no proof this contributed to a reduction in the instances of allergies or eczema.
Probiotics were only given to women in the later stages of pregnancy as they contain the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
The full report can be found here: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002507