Organic milk, cheese and yoghurt may protect kids against asthma

November 14th, 2007 - 10:24 am ICT by admin  

The research revealed that infants who feed on organic dairy products are a third less likely to suffer from allergies in the first two years of life than those raised on conventional food.

Researchers said that they are not sure of why organic food prevents allergic reactions. However, they believe that higher than normal concentrations of fatty acids play a role.

“There’s always been a strong belief in the nutritional benefits of organic produce but there hasn’t been the scientific evidence,” the Daily Mail quoted Richard Jacobs, chief executive of Organic Farmers and Growers, which certifies more than a third of all organic food sold in the UK, as saying.

“Now we are starting to see the evidence coming out in favour of increased benefits. Different types of organic food are going to have different health benefits. It’s never going to be black and white - because there are so many factors involved. The healthiest food in the world will lose some of its nutritional value if it is stored for too long. But the evidence is emerging,” he added.

The results are based on a Dutch study, which followed the lifestyle, diet and health of 2,500 pregnant women and their kids for two years after birth.

Around 500 of the kids came from “green” families who fed on mostly organic food, while 234 were on strict diets where more than 90 per cent of their dairy intake was organic.

The results of the study showed that kids of breastfeeding mothers who fed on organic dairy products and who were weaned on organic milk, cheese and yoghurts were “significantly less likely” to suffer from allergies.

Researchers also took into account the fact that kids raised on organic food were more likely to come from affluent and well educated families.

Dr Machteld Huber, of the Louis Bolk Institute and one of the authors of the study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, said: “There was a clear relationship between organic dairy use and less eczema.

“The difference was significant, but only for children exclusively eating organic dairy products. We didn’t find a relationship if they had organic and conventional dairy products,” Huber added.

Almost all the kids eating organic dairy produce also eating organic meat, fruit, bread and vegetables. However, it was only milk that appeared to have any impact on allergies.

Professor Carlo Leifert, at Newcastle University, who is leading a European funded study into organic foods and health, said breast milk from mothers eating organic dairy produce was higher in conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) - fatty acids.

“This is the first example of a definite health impact of organic food consumption being published in a peer reviewed journal,” he said.

The Food standards Agency is about to launch an investigation into the health benefits of organic food.

Despite the growing evidence to the contrary, it still insists that there is no solid proof that organic food available in the shops is healthier than conventional produce. (ANI)

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