London: Consumption of oily fish like salmon while pregnant may reduce the risk of babies developing respiratory diseases like asthma, finds a new study.
The early results of the study showed that at six months of age there was no difference in allergy rate between the children whose mothers ate salmon and those who did not.
However, at age of two and half years, children whose mothers ate salmon while pregnant were less likely to have asthma.
“Our findings indicate that early nutrition interventions, even during pregnancy, can have long lasting effects on health,” said Philip Calder, professor at University of Southampton in Britain.
The study proved that fatty acids — or a lack of them — are involved in a broad spectrum of common diseases ranging from diverse allergies through to atherosclerosis and inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
The research was a randomised controlled trial in which a group of women ate salmon twice a week from week 19 of pregnancy.
Allergy tests were then performed on the children at six months and then at two to three years of age.
Results were compared to a control group whose mothers did not eat salmon during pregnancy.
The findings were presented at the recent Experimental Biology Congress in San Diego, US.