Childhood allergy linked to omega-3 and omega-6: Study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Could high levels of omega-6 and omega-3 in cord blood be linked to a later risk of allaergies?
Could high levels of omega-6 and omega-3 in cord blood be linked to a later risk of allaergies?

Related tags Fatty acid

Babies born with high levels ofpoly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in cord blood may be more likely to develop respiratory and skin allergies in their early teens, according to new research.

The research, published in PLoS One,followed nearly 800 children born in 1996-97 for diagnosis of allergies at age 13, and studied a subset of 44 who were diagnosed with respiratory allergies, 37 with chronic skin rashes and 48 who did not suffer allergies.

Led by Malin Barman and colleagues from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, the researchers found that high levels of unsaturated fatty acids in cord blood samples taken at birth were associated with individuals who suffered allergies later in life.

"A high proportion of long-chain PUFAs among cord serum phospholipids may predispose to allergy development,"​ said the research team - who noted that while the potential mechanism is 'unknown' it may involve "dampening of the physiologic immune activation in infancy needed for proper maturation of the infant's immune system."

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