Expectant mums may have a way of lowering allergy risk in their babies, a Japanese study suggests. Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy may be the way.
A larger intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruit, and vegetables and fruit high in beta-carotene (generally those that are red and orange coloured) may lessen the risk of having a baby with eczema (itchy, dry, red patchy skin), Dr Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and his colleagues found.
Foods high in vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, may also lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant, the report in the journal Allergy said.
Beta-carotene and vitamin E are two of many vegetable and fruit antioxidants thought to benefit health. Prior studies of maternal antioxidant intake and childhood allergies offered conflicting findings. This area of research is still developing, Dr Miyake told Reuters Health.
Eczema was more common among infants of mothers who ate the least versus the most green and yellow vegetables - 54 and 32 infants, respectively.
Boosting intake of vegetables, citrus fruits, and antioxidants among mothers-to-be deserves further investigation as measures that would possibly be effective in the prevention of allergic disorders in the offspring, the researchers concluded.