Fish, farm exposure reduce allergy risk

LONDON, June 9 (UPI) -- Eating fish at a young age and living on or near a farm could immunize infants from allergies later in life, researchers in Germany and Sweden found.

Dr. Emma Goksor of the University of Gothenburg said studies involving 8,000 families found children who ate fish before the age of 9 months had less allergic rhinitis -- sneezing and runny nose -- at age 54 months than children who did not eat fish at the same age.


The researchers questioned the parents on their child's diet, lifestyle and the parents own allergies when the children were 6- and 12-months-old.

"Allergic rhinitis was only half as common in children who received fish before the age of 9 months compared to those who did not eat fish until later," Goksor told the congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology congress in London.

In a second study, Dr. Sabina Illi of the University of Munich in Germany divided 34,500 children ages 6 to 12 years into groups who lived on a farm, exposed to a farming environment and those who had no contact with a farm in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.


Illi found children who had no contact with hay, straw and animals were two-thirds more likely to suffer from hay fever or asthma than children with some link to a farm.

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