- 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)
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.