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Asthma benefit from apples

21st May 2007

New research suggests that children of mothers who regularly eat apples during pregnancy are less likely to develop asthma.

Asthma1

More than 2,000 expectant mothers were questioned on their eating habits in the project by the University of Aberdeen, which then looked at the health of their children over five years.

The findings, presented to the American Thoracic Society Conference, showed that women who ate four or more apples a week were half as likely to have an asthmatic child compared to those who ate fewer apples.

The study also found that a child had a reduced chance of developing the skin condition eczema if a woman ate more fish during pregnancy.

It remains unclear as to why apples and fish seem able to produce this result, though no other foodstuffs were linked to decreases in asthma or eczema.

But it has already been established that apples are linked to better lung health in adults and oily fish, which contain Omega-3 oils, have health benefits.

One in 10 children in the UK has asthma.

The project has been funded by the charity Asthma UK and while accepting the link between apples and asthma does not prove that eating the fruit is the cause of lower asthma rates in children, it says it does support the case for a balanced diet during pregnancy.

Asthma UK research and development officer Dr Victoria King said: “This study suggests a simple modification that can be made to a pregnant mother’s diet which may help protect her child from developing asthma before the age of five.?

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