Eating Fish in Pregnancy Could Reduce Baby's Asthma Risk

According to recent research, consuming more oily fish, like salmon, could reduce your baby's chances of developing asthma. Here's what to look out for.

Eating Fish in Pregnancy Could Reduce Baby's Asthma Risk Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Women who eat a certain kind of fish during pregnancy may be reducing their baby's risks of developing asthma, according to a new study.

The research looked at whether or not the consumption of oily fish while pregnant could have an effect on asthma rates and the findings were positive—according to the researchers from the University of Southampton in the U.K., babies born to moms who ate salmon during pregnancy had lower rates of asthma than their peers whose mothers didn't eat salmon.

Professor Phillip Calder, who has done extensive research on fatty acid metabolism and functionality, led the controled trial. A group of women ate salmon twice a week from 19 weeks of pregnancy onwards. Researchers performed allergy tests on their children at six months, then at two and three years and then compared these results to those of children whose mothers did not eat salmon.

Calder's research indicates that certain fatty acids—or lack thereof—can influence a broad spectrum of diseases including inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease, atherosclerosis (a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries) and a diverse set of allergies.

"Our new findings from the salmon in pregnancy study indicate that early nutrition interventions, even during pregnancy, can have long lasting effects on health," Calder said, on accepting an award for his work on the study.

So here's what we recommend: Nosh on salmon once or twice a week. It's full of nutritional benefits and, if this research is any indication, could also provide some seriously significant benefits for your children as well.

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