Fish for thought? According to a new Dutch study involving over 7,000 babies, those who first ate fish between the ages of six months and one year had a lower risk of developing asthma-like symptoms later on than babies who ate fish either before six months or after their first birthdays.
Between 40 percent and 45 percent of parents of children who were not introduced to fish until after they turned one said their child wheezed, compared to 30 percent of children who first ate it when they were between six and 12 months old. From there, the researchers determined a 36 percent decreased risk of wheezing for the children who first had fish between the ages of six months and one year, reports MSNBC.com.
The results support one theory that early exposure to certain fatty acids in fish protects against the development of asthma. Previous research has found that a mother's fish consumption during pregnancy may also lower the risk of asthma.
What’s the significance of that six month window? "That would make reasonable sense because that's when the immune system is getting educated," explained T. Bernard Kinane, chief of the pediatric pulmonary unit for Mass General Hospital for Children in Boston.
While some parents and doctors delay introducing fish into babies' diets for fear of a possible allergy, it is up to them to decide if the newfound benefits outweigh the risks.
When did you introduce seafood into your child’s diet? Leave a comment.