How giving fish regularly to babies cuts their allergy risk

Like it? Share it!


Babies regularly fed fish in their first year  of life are much less likely to develop common allergies when they get older,  new research shows.

Scientists who monitored babies’ diets found  many of those that ate plenty of fish early in life were much more likely to  still be free of allergies 12 years later, when the study ended.

Their chances of developing eczema dropped by  22 per cent, and hay fever by 26 per cent.

The findings, published in the American Journal  of Clinical Nutrition, suggest giving fish to infants as little as two or three  times a month may be enough to substantially reduce their risks.

Eczema affects an estimated one in eight  children in the UK.

It can cause red, itchy skin condition that  can be very distressing and there are few very effective treatments.

In the worst cases, children have to be  bandaged with cotton dressings from head to foot.

They are 22 per cent less likely to develop eczema and  26 per cent less likely to get hay fever

Hay fever, meanwhile, is thought to affect up  to one in five youngsters.

Both conditions are also linked with an  increased risk of asthma.

Although previous research has suggested  early exposure to fish in the diet could have a protective effect up to the age  of four, researchers wanted to see if the benefits lasted even  longer.

Experts at the Karolinska Institute in  Stockholm, Sweden, tracked 3,285 babies to study their dietary intake at the  ages of one, two, four, eight and 12.

They also looked at how many went on to  develop allergies.

The results showed fish plays a big part in  dietary patterns among Swedish infants, with 80 per cent consuming it at least  twice a month.

Among these children, the risk of allergies  dropped significantly compared to others that rarely or never ate  fish.

However, the study did not examine exactly  which type of fish had the most potent affect.

In a report on their findings researchers  said: ‘Regular fish consumption in infancy may reduce the risk of allergic  disease up to the age of 12.’

They are 22 per cent less likely to develop eczema and 26 per cent less likely to get hay fever

Read more:

Related Articles

The Sue Atkins

Parenting Show

Discussing every possible aspect of parenting, giving you advice and support on topics which affect your daily life. Each free, weekly episode is bursting with practical tips, techniques and ideas.

Hi, I'm Sue Atkins

I will teach you my no-nonsense, simple techniques & give you hundreds of my expert parenting articles, videos & podcasts so you can get back to the business of having fun with your family!

As Seen or heard in