n-3 LCPUFA supplementation in pregnancy to reduce allergies in early childhood [ 2006 - 2011 ]

Also known as: n-3 fatty acids in pregnancy and childhood allergy

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Maria Makrides (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Robert Gibson Prof Michael Gold Dr Joanna Hawkes Prof Heddy Zola
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Brief description Over the last 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in allergic diseases in Australia as well as many other industrialised countries. This may be due to changes in our environment or diet. Over this period of time there has also been an increase in the dietary intake of n-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and a corresponding decline in the intake of n-3 fatty acids from fish. Studies now indicate that there is a plausible link between these dietary changes and allergic diseases. Furthermore, emerging data suggest that the potential benefits of increasing n-3 fatty acids may be greatest during pregnancy and before allergic responses are established. Our project aims to minimise allergies in children from families where at least one parent has an allergy. We will assess whether dietary n-3 fatty acid supplementation of pregnant women will result in fewer children with allergies at 1 and 3 years of age. If the proposed intervention is successful, it would be a safe, cheap, acceptable and effective strategy to prevent allergies in children at high risk.

Funding Amount $AUD 813,423.73

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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