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Omega-3 causes allergies: Swedish scientists

Published torsdag 11 juli 2013 kl 15.53
"There is no reason to give supplements to anyone."
(6:16 min)
Omega-3 fatty acid could cause allergies, scientists claim. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix

A group of Swedish scientists have challenged the idea that popular food supplement Omega-3 prevents allergies, saying the opposite is true.

Parents have long been told that it's good to supplement children's diets with Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish. Since children who are fed fish early in life have proven to be less prone to allergies, the assumption is that Omega-3 supplements can help prevent allergies.

In fact, this idea is so widely accepted that Omega-3 is added to baby food and to formula milk.

But now, a group of Swedish scientists are claiming the very opposite. They say that children who receive Omega-3 could develop allergies.

One of the scientists behind the study, professor Agnes Wold of the University of Gothenburg, told Radio Sweden that "if you give kids fish before they reach seven months, they develop fewer allergies later on."

"What people have done wrong is to say, OK, fish is good, so Omega-3 must be good, too. But of course fish contain a lot of other things apart from Omega-3."

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