The Grapevine

Kids Who Eat Fish Have Lower Risk Of Asthma, Eczema

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 analyzed 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 percent to 40 percent. 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.

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

“In line with previous meta-analyses of several studies, we found that consuming fish at the age of one year seems to reduce the risk of eczema, asthma and wheezing at the age of six,” Øien said. “This is more significant than the mother’s intake of fish and cod liver oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding or the child’s intake at two years, which do not appear to have the same protective effect.”

Fish New study found that fish consumption early in childhood could reduce occurrence of eczema, asthma and hay fever by 28 percent to 40 percent. Pixabay

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