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Fish before nine months helps prevent eczema

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A baby’s diet that includes fish before the age of nine months reduces the risk for the development of eczema, according to a new study this week.

29 September, 2008 – 16:34

The prevalence of eczema is 13.9% at age six months and 20.9% at age 12 months. Risk factors for eczema at age 12 months include eczema in siblings or in the mother and cow’s milk allergy.

Scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden found that a skin protective effect was noticed for introducing fish into the diet before age nine months (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.62 – 0.94) and for having a bird in the home (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.17 – 0.75). No associations with eczema were detected for short-term breast-feeding, the age at which milk or eggs were introduced, having a cat or dog in the home, or parental smoking, according to the study published September 24 Online First issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

“Beneficial effects on infantile eczema were seen from introducing fish before nine months of age or having a bird in the home,” the study authors write. “The duration of breast-feeding or the age at which milk or eggs were introduced did not affect the risk of eczema.”

This longer study backs up previous studies which suggest that a higher intake of fish in an infant’s first year help protect against eczema.

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