Omega-3s Provide Immunity for Newborns

SINGAPORE: A new study has found that pregnant women who consume higher amounts of fatty fish, reduce the risk of their babies developing allergies.

Fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to boost the immune system.

Dr Eline M Van Der Beek, research director at the Singapore Danone Research Centre, said: “If you can improve Omega 3 fatty acids exposure during pregnancy, you get more built into the baby’s tissues and this will improve the development of the immune system, leading to a lower risk of allergy.”

The Netherlands study involved over 120 pregnant women.

Half were kept on a low fatty acid diet, while the others consumed salmon twice a week.

The women who ate salmon had babies who tested with stronger immune systems at birth.

They were also less sensitive to allergies.

The study also noted that women worldwide have an imbalance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids – both are needed to combat heart disease and boost the immune system.

Women tend to eat too little fatty fish, and consume too much vegetable oil, which is high in Omega 6 fatty acids.

This imbalance is passed on to their babies, making them prone to allergies.

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