INFANT FORMULA + OMEGA-3 REDUCES INCIDENCE OF ALLERGY
Omega-3 supplementation during infancy reduced the risk of skin and respiratory allergic diseases in childhood with effects influenced by maternal allergies.
ABSTRACT Allergy has sharply increased in affluent Western countries in the last 30 years. N-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) may protect the immune system against development of allergy. Methods We prospectively categorized illnesses by body system in a subset of 91 children from the Kansas City cohort of the DIAMOND (DHA Intake and Measurement of Neural Development) study who had yearly medical records through 4 years of age. As infants, they were fed either a control formula without LCPUFA (n=19) or one of three formulas with LCPUFA from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) (n=72). Results Allergic illnesses in the first year were lower in the combined LCPUFA group compared to the control. LCPUFAs significantly delayed time to first allergic illness (p=0.04) and skin allergic illness (p=0.03); and resulted in a trend to reduced wheeze/asthma (p=0.1). If the mother had no allergies, LCPUFAs reduced the risk of any allergic diseases (HR = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.1, 0.56, p=0.0.001) and skin allergic diseases (HR = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.13, 0.93, p=0.04). In contrast, if the mother had allergies, LCPUFAs reduced wheezing/asthma (HR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.07, 0.9, p = 0.02). Conclusions LCPUFA supplementation during infancy reduced the risk of skin and respiratory allergic diseases in childhood with effects influenced by maternal allergies.