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Hypersensitivity and allergy

Fish oil and probiotic supplements during pregnancy may reduce infant risk of allergic disease

A systematic review and meta-analysis of maternal diets has shown that probiotic and fish oil supplements reduce infant risk of eczema and egg allergy.

There is uncertain evidence over how maternal diet and early nutritional exposure influence the development of immune-mediated conditions.

To explore, researchers carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of 381 studies into the relationship between diet during pregnancy, lactation and the first year of life, and the later development of allergic or autoimmune disease.

They found that taking a daily probiotic supplement from week 36 of pregnancy and during the first three to six months of breastfeeding was associated with a 22% reduced risk of eczema. Similarly, taking a fish oil capsule from week 20 of pregnancy and during the first three to four months of breastfeeding was associated with a 31% reduction in the risk of egg allergy.

The researchers, reporting in PLoS Medicine (online, 28 February 2018)[1], said the findings should help inform future guidelines on use of supplements during pregnancy.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20204652

Readers' comments (1)

  • I believe this only highlights further the importance of a healthy fiber and fish- rich maternal diet, in reducing risk of infants’ allergic disease; in line with recent studies. Naturally actively promoting a healthy gut bacterial flora is a more effective and secure way for doing that, better even than probiotics administration, simulating active vs passive immunization, respectively.
    Do not tell a pregnant, or breast feeding woman, to restrict intake of any healthy dietary source.

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