Soup may be the ultimate comfort food when you're sick, but scientists are how investigating whether soup can also prevent illnesses like childhood asthma.
Scientists have altered a variety of commercially available soups by boosting vitamin E content, and they hope that pregnant women eating the products will have babies with built-in protection against asthma and improved lung capacity.
Researchers said that children born with good lung function are less likely to develop asthma, and past studies found that women lacking vitamin E in their diet are more likely have children who are at a higher risk of developing asthma by the age of five.
A team of researchers from the University of Aberdeen will be recruiting 50 pregnant women to eat three cans of Baxter's soup a week. Researchers said that half of the participants will eat the off-the-shelf variety, while the rest will have a specially developed vitamin E-enriched version containing ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower oil and wheat-germ.
Researchers said that the women, who will all be three months pregnant at the start of the study, will not know which one they are eating and all will have their diet and blood levels regularly monitored, and when their babies are born, researchers will measure the infant's lung function for early signs of asthma.
Lead researcher Professor Graham Devereux, a chest physician at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, believes that women who have eaten the vitamin E soups will have babies with better lung function, according to Daily Mail.
"It seems more natural to give the vitamin E in food form rather than in a pill, and when you consider the foods, soup seems an obvious intervention," Devereux said at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.
"The ultimate aim is to reduce the prevalence of asthma by an effective, inexpensive and safe dietary intervention," he added.