Porridge Keeps Asthma At Bay

Finnish scientists have just produced a study which suggests that the sooner infants are given porridge, or other foods made from oats, the less likely they are to develop asthma .
The risk of asthma in later childhood is cut by nearly two-thirds in babies first fed oats prior to their becoming five months old, in contrast to those introduced to oat based foods.
Babies who are born in pollen season are more likely to get asthma. Scientists who conducted the study consider that early exposure to oats could be crucial in helping to ward off the disease.
Department of Health infant feeding guidelines recommend breastfeeding for six months before introducing the infant to solid foods.
There are at least 1.1 million children in the UK who suffer from asthma and this condition kills around 40 youngsters a year.
Asthma UK confirms that Britain has the highest rate in the world of severe wheeze in young teenagers.
Diet and environment in early life could affect a child develop this disease.
A team of Finnish scientists studied 1,300 children whose parents participated in a diet and lifestyle study between 1996 and 2000.
They wished to monitor whether specific foods either increased the risk of asthma and hay fever, or lowered them.
Each family recorded infant feeding patterns from an early age and those children were then followed for a minimum of five years.
The results, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed babies fed porridge in their first few months of life were 64 per cent less likely to have chest problems as a toddler than those who did not eat it or started later.
The same team also found babies fed fish at an early age had much lower rates of hay fever by the time they were five years old.
In Finland, animal and cell experiments suggest that oats can affect the immune system and that they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Certain studies also suggest a medium-sized bowl each morning can lower cholesterol by around ten per cent.

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