Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

Pregnancy Diet May Affect Kids' Asthma

Eating Apples and Fish During Pregnancy May Reduce Asthma in Children
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 21, 2007 -- By eating apples and fish during pregnancy, women may cut their child's odds of developing asthma and allergies.

That's according to Scottish and Dutch researchers who studied more than 1,200 children from before birth to the time they were 5 years old.

During pregnancy, the kids' moms completed dietary surveys about the foods they frequently ate. The women were 32 weeks pregnant at the time.

When the children were 5 years old, the mothers reported any breathing problems and allergy symptoms that the children had ever experienced. The 5-year-old children also provided blood samples and took a lung function test.

The researchers included Saskia Willers, MSc, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

They found that children born to mothers who ate the most apples and fish during pregnancy were the least likely to have ever been diagnosed with asthma or had asthma symptoms.

Kids whose moms ate lots of fish during pregnancy were also less likely to have ever had the skin condition eczema.

The study didn't prove that apples or fish prevented asthma, but the findings held when the researchers considered other risk factors for asthma and allergies.

The researchers didn't test specific nutrients in fish or apples for beneficial effects. The key may be to get nutrients in foods, according to Willers.

"Foods contain mixtures of nutrients that may contribute more than the sum of their parts," Willers says in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.

The findings were presented yesterday in San Francisco at the American Thoracic Society's 2007 International Conference.

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz