Source: J Respir Crit Care Med, January 15, 2005;171(2):121-8.
Research: Two thousand women were recruited for a prospective investigation of the influence of maternal antioxidant intake in pregnancy on the development of asthma and eczema in children. A food frequency questionnaire was used to characterize diet during pregnancy and blood antioxidant levels were measured. Postal questionnaires were used to follow up the 1924 singleton children born to the cohort at 6, 12 and 24 months of age.
Results: There were no associations between maternal antioxidant intake and wheezing symptoms and eczema in the children’s first year. In the children’s second year, maternal vitamin E intake during pregnancy was negatively associated with wheeze in the absence of a “cold” and, in children whose mothers were atopic, there was a negative association between maternal vitamin E intake and childhood eczema. Maternal vitamin C intake during pregnancy was positively associated with “ever wheeze” and eczema during the children’s second year. This led researchers to conclude that maternal dietary antioxidant intakes during pregnancy may modify the risks of developing wheeze and eczema during early childhood. However, they said further follow up of the cohort will determine whether maternal diet during pregnancy is associated with asthma and atopic disease in later childhood.