19 September 2011

Low-fat yogurt in pregnancy linked to child asthma, hay fever

Eating low-fat yoghurt whilst pregnant can increase the risk of your child developing asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever), according to recent findings.


Eating low-fat yoghurt whilst pregnant can increase the risk of your child developing asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever), according to recent findings.

The study aimed to assess whether fatty acids found in dairy products could protect against the development of allergic diseases in children.

The researchers assessed milk and dairy intake during pregnancy and monitored the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis using registries and questionnaires in the Danish National Birth Cohort.

Milk protects against asthma

The results showed that milk intake during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk of developing asthma and it actually protected against asthma development. However, women who ate low-fat yoghurt with fruit once a day were 1.6-times more likely to have children who developed asthma by age 7, compared with children of women who reported no intake. They were also more likely to have allergic rhinitis and to display current asthma symptoms.

The researchers suggest that non-fat related nutrient components in the yoghurt may play a part in increasing this risk. They are also looking at the possibility that low-fat yoghurt intake may serve as a marker for other dietary and lifestyle factors.

Ekaterina Maslova, lead author from the Harvard School of Public Health, who has been working with data at the Centre for Foetal Programming at Statens Serum Institut, said: "This is the first study of its kind to link low-fat yoghurt intake during pregnancy with an increased risk of asthma and hay fever in children. This could be due to a number of reasons and we will further investigate whether this is linked to certain nutrients or whether people who ate yoghurt regularly had similar lifestyle and dietary patterns which could explain the increased risk of asthma." - (EurekAlert!, September 2011)

Read more:
Asthma may cause pregnancy complications


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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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