New research coming out of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston showed that women who regularly ate low-fat yogurt during pregnancy had an increased chance of their children developing asthma and hay fever than those women who did not.
According to lead researcher Dr. Ekaterina Maslova, "This is the first study of its kind to link low-fat yogurt intake during pregnancy with an increased risk of asthma and hay fever in children." Odds were increased nearly double for children developing allergic rhinitis if the mother ate yogurt daily, and their chance of developing asthma by age seven increased by as much as 1.6 times.
The study, intended to determine whether or not fatty acids in dairy could actually prevent allergies, found that the more than 60,000 women participating in the study in the Netherlands who drank milk experienced a small protective effect compared with those who ate the yogurt. It is not clear why consuming yogurt leads to allergies, but researchers speculate it may be part of an overall lifestyle that corresponds to a predisposition for yogurt, or certain nutritional elements in the cultured dairy products that increases the risks. "This could be for a number of reasons and we will further investigate whether this is linked to certain nutrients or whether people who ate yoghurt regularly had similar lifestyle and dietary patterns which could explain the increased risk of asthma," said Maslova.
Yogurt generally contains a number of probiotic bacteria colonies that play an important role in digestion and overall health. Another recent study linked diabetes, obesity and other prevalent health issues with a lack of friendly bacteria in the stomach and intestines from overexposure to antibiotics.
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