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Fish oil and probiotics during pregnancy ‘can reduce childhood allergy risk’

1st March 2018

Women who take fish oil supplements and probiotics during pregnancy could help to reduce their children's chances of developing allergies.

This is according to new research from Imperial College London, which assessed data from more than 400 studies involving 1.5 million people to analyse how pregnant women's diets may affect allergy and eczema risk among unborn children.

It was shown that when pregnant women took a daily fish oil capsule from 20 weeks pregnant onwards and during the first three to four months of breastfeeding, the risk of the child developing egg allergies was reduced by 30 percent.

Additionally, taking a daily probiotic supplement between 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy and during the first three to six months of breastfeeding reduced the risk of a child developing eczema by 22 percent.

Study leader Dr Robert Boyle, of the department of medicine at Imperial College London, said: "Our research suggests probiotic and fish oil supplements may reduce a child's risk of developing an allergic condition, and these findings need to be considered when guidelines for pregnant women are updated."

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