Postnatal Omega-3 Supplementation in High-Risk Infants Improves Immune Function

Postnatal Omega-3 Supplementation in High-Risk Infants Improves Immune Function

Many studies have explored the effects of increased intake of n-3 LC-PUFAs on the occurrence and symptoms of allergic disease, especially in infants at high risk of developing atopy. Most research has examined the outcomes of maternal supplementation with these fatty acids during pregnancy. As described in the preceding article, results have generally shown that the overall incidence of allergic disease is not significantly reduced, but symptoms may be delayed and less severe. Reduced sensitization to certain allergens has also been reported. Some studies have reported no significant effects, while…

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Maternal Dietary Fatty Acids and Risk of Allergic Disease in the Offspring at Age 5

Attempts to determine the cause(s) of the increased prevalence of allergic diseases in Western countries have led to the investigation of how dietary fatty acids and other factors might affect the susceptibility to and severity of allergic diseases, especially in infants and children. In recent decades, the consumption of omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs has increased dramatically, while that of omega-3 (n-3) PUFAs, especially of the long-chain n-3 LC-PUFAs, has diminished. This has resulted in lower tissue concentrations of n-3 LC-PUFAs. High levels of n-6 PUFAs in conjunction with low concentrations of…

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Breast Milk Fatty Acids and Risk of Asthma and Allergen Sensitivity in Infancy

Is breastfeeding linked to the development of infant and childhood allergies? The Canadian Early Childhood Development study reported that infants who were breastfed for more than 3 months were significantly less likely to develop asthma during the preschool years. This study also observed that wheezing before the age of 2 was associated with a higher risk of preschool-age asthma. Reduced risk of asthma in U.S. children who had ever been breastfed was also noted in the NHANES survey, 1988-1994. A study in the Netherlands reported that children who had been…

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Preterm Infant Lung Function May Benefit from Higher Levels of DHA in Breast Milk

It is often noted that the prevalence of atopic diseases has been increasing around the world for the past several decades. These conditions have been associated with Western lifestyles and diets, as well as environmental and genetic factors. Preterm delivery also increases the risk of atopic (IgE-associated allergies) diseases. The most common allergic diseases in early life are asthma, eczema and rhinitis (stuffy, runny nose). Studies on allergic conditions in infants and young children have examined the relationships between the mother’s fish or long-chain omega-3 fatty acid consumption in pregnancy…

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High-Dose Omega-3s Linked to Reduced Cumulative Allergic Disease up to Age 2

The literature on the relationships between dietary fatty acids and the risk of allergy, especially in infants at high risk of developing eczema, asthma or allergic rhinitis, is fraught with inconsistencies. Omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) PUFAs have been associated with increased or reduced risk of allergic diseases, but the existing data do not permit firm conclusions. The effect of maternal supplementation with n-3 long-chain (LC) PUFAs in pregnancy is also unclear, although plausible reasons and evidence why these PUFAs might have anti-allergic effects, including lower sensitization to common food…

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Higher Fish Intakes Linked to Better Endothelial Function and Lower Inflammatory Markers in Healthy Adults

Blood vessels are lined with a single layer of endothelial cells that actively contribute to healthy heart function, blood flow and immune responses. They release substances that affect blood clotting, fight inflammation and maintain healthy blood pressure. When their function is disturbed, as in atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and inflammation, these cells become highly active by producing an array of substances to handle the challenges. Endothelial function is sensitive to an individual’s dietary pattern, fish intake and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s). Studies have reported that individuals with severe heart failure,…

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