Fish consumption in infancy may prevent eczema

January 01, 0001

Fish consumption in infancy may prevent eczema

These Norwegian researchers examined the association between cod liver oil and fish consumption during pregnancy and in the first year of life and with allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema. This was part of the Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim (PACT) study, a prospective birth cohort study in Trondheim, Norway. Three thousand eighty six children were followed prospectively from 1 year to approximately 2 years of age. The primary outcome was asthma and eczema at 2 years.

The authors found: "The mean age for introducing fish in the diet was 9.1 months. Excluding children with incident eczema before 1 year, a reduced risk of developing eczema was found if the child was eating fish once a week or more, adjusted OR (aOR) for any kind of fish 0.62, for oily fish aOR 0.21 and for lean fish aOR 0.67. The associations between maternal diet and eczema at 2 years and between the dietary factors and doctor-diagnosed asthma were all insignificant."

The authors concluded: "Fish consumption in infancy was more important than maternal fish intake during pregnancy in preventing eczema in childhood. The intake of fish per se, not specifically n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, was most important in preventing eczema."

This study suggest there may be a role for fish consumption, especially those high in omega three fatty acids, in preventing childhood eczema, though a true causal relationship cannot be established with a cohort study.

For the full abstract, click here.

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 64:124-129, February 2010
© 2010BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Do early intake of fish and fish oil protect against eczema and doctor-diagnosed asthma at 2 years of age? A cohort study. Torbjørn Øien, Ola Storrø, Roar Johnsen. Correspondence to: Torbjørn Øien: [email protected]

Category: S Skin, T Endrocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional Keywords: fish, omega-3 fatty acids, consumption, eczema, infants, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 17 February 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.