Vitamin E during pregnancy could cut asthma in kids

Mothers with low vitamin E intake during pregnancy are more likely to have asthmatic kids at age five, suggests a new study from Scotland. «The results of the present study suggest that dietary modification or supplementation during pregnancy to reduce the likelihood of childhood asthma warrants further investigation,» said Dr. Graham Devereux from the University of Aberdeen. According to the European Federation of Allergy and Airway Diseases Patients Association (EFA), over 30m Europeans suffer from asthma, costing Europe ?17.7bn every year. The cost due to lost productivity is estimated to be around ?9.8bn. The researchers analysed a cohort of 1,861 children born to women recruited during pregnancy and followed for 5 years. Data on asthma symptoms and dietary intakes from food frequency questionnaires were available for 1,253 and 1,120 children, respectively. According to the authors, children born to mothers from the lowest quintile of vitamin E intake were over five times more likely to manifest early persistent asthma than children whose mothers were in the highest quintile. It was also found that increasing blood levels of alpha-tocopherol, the most abundant form of vitamin E in the diet, was associated with better lung function ? every microgram per millilitre increase in alpha-tocopherol in the mother’s blood was associated with a seven millilitre increase in lung capacity measurements. The study cited vegetable oils (sunflower, rapeseed and corn), margarine, wheat germ, nuts and sunflower seeds as major food sources of vitamin E for mothers in the U.K.
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Source: NutraIngredients