Maternal Omega-3 may influence childhood allergy.
Omega-3 fatty acids intake during gestation and lactation may modify development of the newborn digestive system and have a positive correlation with a lowered risk for allergies. In this study, researchers demonstrated that supplementation of the maternal diet with a fatty acid (18:3 n-3) modified intestinal permeability via the enteric nervous system of newborn piglets. Sows received a control diet of lard or a linseed based (n-3PUFA) during lactation and gestation. Assessments of the newborn intestinal systems were made at birth, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28 postnatal days (PND). Basal jejunal permeability increased significantly in both groups until PND14, and decreased thereafter, however at PND28 permeability was higher in n-3PUFA animals as opposed to those in the control group. This has implications for immune system development and allergic response since high permeability in the intestines is required to educate the immune system and produce antibodies.
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