Eat SALMON to protect your baby from asthma: Children up to 5 times less likely to develop allergies if mother eats oily fish when pregnant

  • Study compared pregnant women who ate salmon and those who didn’t
  • Found no difference in their babies’ allergies when tested at 6 months
  • Children of salmon-eating mothers were less likely to have asthma by age 3
  • Fatty acids in fish may protect against allergies and diseases like Crohn’s .

Half of the women ate salmon twice a week from half-way through pregnancy until birth. The others avoided the fish.

By the age of three, one in ten of the children had been diagnosed with asthma. However, almost all the cases were in youngsters from salmon-free pregnancies.

He said: ‘Our findings indicate that early nutrition interventions, even during pregnancy, can have long lasting effects on health.’

His work, which is yet to be published in a journal but was presented at the Experimental Biology conference in the US, is part of a growing body of research that points to a child’s health being programmed early in life, including the womb and pre-conception.

Children were up to five times less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma by the age of three if their mother ate the oily fish while carrying them, researchers found (file photo)

Children were up to five times less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma by the age of three if their mother ate the oily fish while carrying them, researchers found (file photo)

It is argued that these early days shape a child’s chances of everything from developing diabetes in their 40s and 50s to having a heart attack in old age.

It is even said that life expectancy can be traced back to these early days and months, as can a lifelong battle of the bulge.

The NHS says a healthy diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish.

Men and boys can have salmon and other oily fish up to four times a week.

Concern about the build-up of toxic chemicals in the oily flesh means pregnant women – and women and girls of child-bearing age – are advised to eat just two portions a week.

However, seven out of ten Britons do not eat any oily fish at all.

Other sources of omega-3 include walnuts, pumpkin seeds, tofu and green leafy vegetables.


Eating oily fish ‘can extend life’.


Eating oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can add years to your life, a study has shown.

Higher blood levels of omega-3 reduce the chances of dying from heart disease by more than a third, according to the research.

They cut the overall risk of dying by as much as 27 per cent.

Scientists found that people with the largest amounts of the fatty acids in their blood lived on average 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.

“Although eating fish has long been considered part of a healthy diet, few studies have assessed blood omega-3 levels and total deaths in older adults,” said lead researcher Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US.

“Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life.”

The scientists analysed 16 years of data from around 2,700 US adults aged 65 and older taking part in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).

Participants gave blood samples and were questioned about their health, medical history and lifestyle.

Three key omega-3 fatty acids, both separately and together, were associated with a significantly reduced risk of death.

One, docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA) , was linked to a 40% lower risk of death due to coronary heart disease. This was especially true for deaths caused by heart rhythm disturbances.

Another omega-3 compound, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) was strongly associated with a lower risk of death from stroke.

The third type of omega-3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was linked to a reduced risk of non-fatal heart attack.

Overall, participants with the highest levels of all three types of fatty acid had a 27 per cent lower risk of death from all causes.

The findings appear in the online edition of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Oily fish, such as mackerel, tuna and sardines, is the most important source of omega-3. The fatty acids can also be found in flaxseed, walnuts and rapeseed oil.


Eating oily fish ‘can extend life’.