New research may have found that fish oil taken while pregnant can reduce childhood allergies. An analysis of over 400 studies by the Imperial College of London for the UK Food Standards Agency connected fish oil supplements, along with probiotics, when taken during pregnancy (and directly after, while breastfeeding) with a reduced risk of developing eczema and some food allergies — for the child that is.
The study found that when soon-to-be mamas took probiotic supplements between 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy their children had a 22% reduced risk of developing eczema. The benefits of probiotics don’t seem to stop at childbirth. Obviously. You’ve probably already heard plenty about what they can do for your own health. But this analysis-based study also found that probiotics can help to reduce the likelihood that the baby would develop eczema when the mother continued to take supplements in the first three to six months of breastfeeding.
If the good bacteria brings the benefits, what does fish oil do? The study also found that when women took fish oil supplements after their twentieth week of pregnancy and continued for four months of breastfeeding time, they reduced the risk of developing an egg allergy by 30%.
So what does this mean for you? Well, it’s not completely clear. Fish oil, especially cod liver oil, contains vitamin A — which is toxic in high doses. That means you need to run your fish oil, and probiotic, plan by your doctor or midwife first. Never take any supplement before getting the pro’s opinion. Seriously.
Would you take fish oil to reduce your baby’s risk of developing allergies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.