You may need to include nuts, avocado, fish in your kid’s daily diet, as high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in children’s blood is linked to a reduced risk of developing asthma or hay fever at the age of 16, suggests a recent study.
Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Solna, Sweden suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to life and the body is unable to produce itself, so they must be sourced from foods such as nuts and certain vegetable oils; and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in oily fish.
The results showed that children who had higher blood levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids at the age of eight were less likely to have developed asthma or rhinitis by the age of 16 years. “Since allergies often debut during childhood it is of particular interest to study if children’s environment and lifestyle affect the development of these diseases,” said lead study author Anna Bergstrom.
“These new results and those of a previous study we carried out support the current dietary guidelines to eat fish two to three times a week and to vary between oily and lean fish,” Dr Anna Bergstrom added. Allergic diseases such as asthma and rhinitis are common and often debut in childhood.
The team wanted to investigate the association between levels of long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in blood samples from 940 children and subsequent development of asthma and other allergic diseases. This study was conducted as part of the Swedish birth cohort BAMSE.
High levels of an omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid were associated with a reduced risk of asthma and rhinitis at 16. Among children with asthma or rhinitis at the age of eight, higher blood levels of arachidonic acid were associated with a higher probability of being symptom-free when they were 16. The research is published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.