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Fish diet for babies cuts risk of eczema

Feeding babies fish could help them to avoid eczema.
Babies who are given fish to eat within the first nine months may have a reduced risk of developing the skin condition eczema, according to new scientific research.

The prevalence of eczema has risen sharply in the developed world in recent years, with seven million children in the UK suffering from the condition.

Dietary and environmental factors are thought to play an important role.

Researchers in Sweden questioned 5,000 parents about their babies' eating habits in 2003 and have tracked their progress since.

It was discovered that genes are highly influential in the development of eczema, with children who had a sibling or mother with the condition almost twice as likely to be affected by the age of 12 months.

The average age at which the symptoms of eczema first developed was just four months, the study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, revealed.

However the researchers also found that babies who had been introduced to fish before they reached nine months had their chances of developing the disease cut by a quarter (25 per cent).

The researchers explained that the reason why fish was linked to a reduced risk of eczema needed further study, but they suggested that the presence of omega-3 fatty acids could be the cause.

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