Eating fish ‘reduces allergy risk’ – Swedish research

A new Swedish study has shown that eating fish reduces children's risk of developing allergies, reversing earlier studies which indicated that fish consumption increased the likelihood of allergies.

Children who eat fish more than once a week are less likely to have allergies, the study claims.

The study, which will be presented to doctors in Stockholm next week, shows that young children who eat fish are less likely to develop allergic responses and hay fever throughout their childhood.

The study analysed consumption habits among 4,100 children over 8 years. At the age of one, 90% of these children ate fish regularly. About 96% of all kids in the study continued to eat fish on a regular basis after they turned eight.

Earlier, fish was believed to be a risk factor in developing allergies, but this report appears to contradict earlier studies. The study also reveals that regular fish consumption from young ages decreases the risk of children developing hay fever at the age of 8.

”Fish is good food. There is nothing that we need to be worried about when it comes to allergies.” Inger Kull, a Stockholm nurse who took part in the study, told TT.

For the eight year olds, the more they ate fish, the better the impact on their health. Those who ate it more than once a week had a decreased risk of developing eczema.

The study also showed that children who ate fish 2 or 3 times a month when they were one year old, continued to eat fish regularly when they became older.

“We don’t have specific information on what kind of fish the children ate. The hypothesis is that fatty fishes are most beneficial,” according to Kull, adding that she “can not tell what is it about fish that minimizes allergy risks.” She is planning to do a follow up study on children between 11 and 14.

TT/Rami Abdelrahman