September 19/London/Nursing in Practice-- Unborn babies could be at increased risk of asthma and hayfever if women were to eat low-fat yogurt during their pregnancy, researchers claim.

It is believed the heightened risk may be caused the yogurt's "non-fat related nutrient components."

Dr. Ekaterina Maslova of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and her team analyzed the dairy intake in 61,912 pregnant women to determine the importance of dairy products in child development.

The study found children of mothers who drank several glasses of milk a day in pregnancy had a lower risk of asthma than those who drank no milk at seven years of age.

Researchers also noted that the children of mothers that consumed one or more fruit low-fat yogurts a day had "significantly higher" rates of asthma diagnosis and hay fever.

"[The findings] could be due to a number of reasons and we will further investigate whether this is linked to certain nutrients or whether people who ate yogurt regularly had similar lifestyle and dietary patterns which could explain the increased risk of asthma," said Maslova.

"We cannot make any conclusions at this stage. We need to replicate these results in other studies first."

The study will be presented at the European Respiratory Society's meeting in Amsterdam on September 25.


From the September 20, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.