Infants fed fish may reduce asthma risk

Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM
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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Fish added to an infant's diet during the first year may reduce his or her risk of asthma, researchers in the Netherlands suggest.

Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and colleagues at the Department of Human Nutrition in Wageningen, the Netherlands, said infants who ate fish between the ages of 6 and 12 months might have a lower risk of developing asthma later, but those who ate fish before six months or after 12 months did not seem to gain the same benefit.

The researchers said the study involved 7,210 children born in 2002 through 2006 in Rotterdam.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found 1,281 children ate fish in their first six months of life, 5,498 first ate fish in the next six months, and 431 ate no fish until after age 1.

A window of exposure between the age of 6 and 12 months might exist in which fish might be associated with a reduced risk of asthma, the researchers concluded.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast milk or formula is all a baby needs for the first five to six months of life, while solid food should be considered supplementary, not a replacement for breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrients from birth to 12 months.

The ACP said a baby is ready for solid food when these things happen:

-- Baby has doubled her birth weight.

-- Baby can sit in a high chair and support her head on her neck.

-- Baby opens her mouth when she sees a spoon approaching.

-- Baby can swallow some of the food put in her mouth.

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