Here's a Real Fish Story!

Published Online: Wednesday, September 1, 2004

During the recent American Thoracic Society International Conference, researchers presented data showing that eating oily fish (eg, salmon or trout) while pregnant seems to help protect babies predisposed to asthma from developing the condition early on. A family history of asthma puts children at risk for the disease.

The study involved interviews with 691 mothers, half of whom had children who had asthma before the age of 5. The mothers specified how often they consumed oily fish while pregnant years before.

The evidence showed that children whose mothers were asthmatic and ate oily fish between once a week and once a month during their pregnancy were 70% less likely to develop asthma, compared with children of asthmatic mothers who did not eat oily fish while they were pregnant. The findings indicated that omega- 3 fatty acids in oily fish somehow dampen the type of inflammation involved in asthma in children predisposed to the condition, the researchers explained.

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