Mother’s Diet Affects Baby’s Allergies

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The development of allergies in infants is influenced by different factors. A too-clean environment is one factor. Lack of breastfeeding is another factor. Diet, both of the infant and the mother, is yet another factor. In a recent study, mothers’ diets during pregnancy were evaluated for a link to the development of allergies in infants.

Researchers found that if the mother’s diet contained omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) like those found in fish, walnuts and flaxseed, the babys’ guts developed differently. The PUFAs help to improve how gut immune cells respond to gut bacteria and other foreign substances in the gut. This highlights the complementary action of omega-3s with gut bacteria. The result? A reduction in the risk of allergy development in children.

Studies have shown that fish oil and walnut oil supplementation during pregnancy help reduce allergy risk in their children, and now this new study shows why. “The end result is that the baby’s immune system may develop and mature faster—leading to better immune function and less likelihood of suffering allergies,” stated Dr. Gaelle Boudry one of the study’s researchers.

It is well known that omega-3 fish oil—particularly DHA—is important for brain development of the fetus during pregnancy. This new study adds to the understanding of the benefits of omega-3s. This week, if you or someone you know is pregnant, be sure you’re getting enough omega-3s. A concentrated, purified fish oil supplement is a great way to get your omega-3s, just be sure to clear it with your doctor.

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