Fish consumption in childhood can lower risk of asthma, eczema – finds study

A new study found that fish consumption early in childhood could reduce the occurrence of eczema, asthma and hay fever by 28 per cent to 40 per cent

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Adding fish to the diets of children early could provide protection against certain health conditions. A new study suggests that kids should start eating fish at the age of one year at least once a week to get the health benefits

Researchers at NTNU or the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that exposure to fish early in life could reduce the risk of eczema, wheezing and asthma in children. All types of fish provides the same health benefit.

Researchers analysed data from more than 4,000 families that participated in the paediatric allergy survey called Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim. The study looked into the fish consumption of both the mother and the child since 2000.

The team also observed the development of eczema, asthma and hay fever in children.

“We compared children who ate fish at least once a week until they were two years old with children who consumed less fish than that,” Torbjørn Øien, study author at NTNU’s Department of Public Health and Nursing, said in a press release.

The findings, published in MDPI, show that fish consumption early in childhood reduced occurrence of eczema, asthma and hay fever by 28 per cent to 40 per cent.

Eating any type of fish, including fatty fish, contributed to the decrease, according to Melanie Rae Simpson, senior study author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Public Health and Nursing.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Prajakta Borse, a sports nutritionist, informed, “Fish contains omega fatty acids 3-6-9. It helps increase lung function. It can help improve breathing. Blood circulation improves. Omega 3-6-9 plays a crucial role during the development of the child. It increases levels of prostaglandin and good cholesterol. Due to this the working capacity of the lungs and other organs increases.”

She added, “If you are a vegetarian, it doesn’t mean that you are excluded from the benefits of omega 3-6-9. Alternative sources of cholesterol are almonds, walnuts, spinach and cinnamon. They can help relieve asthma symptoms.”

While Dr Sachin Dhulak, a general physician, said, “If everyone at home consumes non-vegetarian, then you can introduce kids to fish. If the child is not a fussy eater, then you can give them fish. But if a child drinks a lot of milk, it is advisable not to give them fish.”

The researchers also took into account other factors that may play a role in the lower risk of having the conditions, such as socioeconomic status. They noted that there could be other reasons that the kids who ate more fish remained healthy compared to other participants.

Source: Medical Daily