Maternal Vitamin E and Risk of Asthma

Maternal Vitamin E and Risk of AsthmaNew research shows there may be a correlation between maternal Vitamin E and risk of asthma. Specifically, a study conducted out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that babies born to mothers with low Vitamin E levels are more likely to have asthma and respiratory problems.

The study followed 650 babies from birth to two years of age. Their mothers were tested for two specific Vitamin E levels after giving birth. Those with lower levels of Vitamin E had children who were more likely to have been treated for asthma or wheezing within their first two years. These results were determined based on medical data and reports from their mothers.

Previous studies conducted on mice had the same results. Although this study did not test mothers during pregnancy, researchers believe that Vitamin E levels immediately after giving birth are reflective of the levels while babies were in the womb.

Vitamin E is a critical fat-soluble antioxidant that helps maintain cell structure. It is partially responsible for proper organ function and is essential in defending cells against free radicals. During pregnancy, the right amount of Vitamin E is crucial to support your baby’s rapidly growing cells and especially the development of your baby’s lungs. Additionally, Vitamin E during pregnancy can keep blood pressure levels in check to help avoid preeclampsia

There are eight types of Vitamin E. This study found that a-tocopherol and y-tocopherol were most important to reduce the risk of asthma and wheezing in young children. The best sources of alpha-tocopherol are sunflower oil and safflower oil. Y-tocopherol is more common and found in corn, soy, seeds, and nuts (walnuts, pecans and peanuts), as well as vegetable oils.

It is recommended that pregnant women consume 3 mg of Vitamin E daily for their own health and that of their developing babies. This can usually be achieved by eating a well-balanced diet without supplementation.  Too much Vitamin E can be harmful to growing fetuses.

The findings of this study were reported at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s annual meeting.

Sources: WebMD, MPR, Live Science and AptaClub



Do Babies Develop Allergies from Playtime with Pets?

Do Babies Develop Allergies from Playtime with Pets?Sure, you’ve spent time properly introducing your pet to your newborn. Maybe you even followed some of the pet interaction guidelines we posted here, but have you ever wondered if having a baby in the same household as a pet is healthy? With allergy and disease concerns, it’s not uncommon that some parents might worry that their baby will get sick or develop allergies from a pet.

Good news! Preliminary research shows that having a pet benefits baby’s health. Rather than activating allergies, studies suggest that a pet’s household presence helps to build baby’s immune system. And you don’t have to worry if your pet enjoys the outdoors, the same study linked fewer baby respiratory issues with pets who played in the yard.

If your baby shows the classic signs of asthma or other respiratory issues, get your infant to a pediatrician who can help diagnose allergy symptoms. Also, make sure to keep up-to-date on your pet’s vaccinations so your pet and baby are as healthy as can be.

Breastfeeding is another way to strengthen your baby’s immune system. Breast milk contains valuable nutrition and antibodies, so make the choice to nurse your baby if possible. You can feel even safer about your baby’s playtime with your dog or cat knowing that your breast milk is working to keep your baby healthy.