October 19th, 2007
A double-blind study at the Linköping University in Sweden suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can protect children from allergies. In this study, 145 pregnant women participated, all of which had allergies and asthma in the family.
Half of the participants were given fish oil capsules, from week 25 of the pregnancy, until three months after birth. The control group were given placebo during the same period.
At the age of one the children were tested for allergies. In the placebo group, the researchers found that these children had more allergic reactions to egg, compared to the fishoil group. Allergic reactions to egg among children is a good indicator of the risk of them developing allergies later in life.
The researchers also found that the amount of prostaglandin E2 in the blood, was lower among the women in the fish oil group. Prostaglandin E2 is a substance that can lead to allergic immune reactions. These results indicate that an intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk for developing different types of allergies among children.