HEALTH | Nuts, oily fish may cut kids’ risk of asthma, rhinitis


Including nuts, oily fish like salmon, flax seeds, and soybean oil — rich in essential polyunsaturated fatty acids — in your children's diet may prevent their risk of developing allergic diseases, especially asthma and rhinitis by teenage, a study has suggested.

Both asthma and rhinitis affects the kids since their childhood, either due to hereditary or environmental factors.

The results show that the presence of an increased amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as Omega-3 and an omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid in the blood is associated with a reduced risk of allergic diseases among children.

Children who had higher blood levels of omega 3 at the age of 8 years were less likely to have developed asthma or rhinitis by the age of 16 years.

High levels of an omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid were associated with a reduced risk of asthma and rhinitis at 16.

"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 Anna Bergström, researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

For the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the team conducted a survey over the blood samples of 940 children.

Among children with asthma or rhinitis at the age of 8 years, higher blood levels of arachidonic acid were associated with a higher probability of being symptom-free at age 16 years, the researchers said.

Previous studies have also suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids helps in preventing Alzheimer's and reduces the worsening of liver damages.