Preventing Eczema in Newborns: Mom’s Nutrition is Key

november_2016_blogBack in September, 2016, we wrote on the challenges of eczema in infants, noting that 70% of eczema cases begin in children younger than five—and how around 60% of infants with eczema will continue to have symptoms into adulthood. Knowing this, expectant mothers will want to do everything they can to help reduce their newborn’s chances of developing this condition.

In our September post we also detailed the value of prenatal probiotics, which can cut an infant’s risk of eczema in half. Consuming probiotics is an excellent step, but it’s hardly the complete picture. In fact, just last month a study out of the University of Southhampton found strong evidence that taking vitamin B—especially B3—during pregnancy can reduce a child’s risk of developing eczema by up to 30%. While the effects of vitamin B on newborn eczema hadn’t previously been studied, the results aren’t entirely surprising considering B’s known connections to many other pregnancy-related factors.

Another nutritional supplement worth considering is Omega-3. The benefits of Omega-3 on eczema have been known since 2012, back when the British Medical Journal published results of the study “Effect of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in pregnancy on infants’ allergies in first year of life: randomised controlled trial”, which indicated a 36% reduction in atopic eczema in children when fish oil fatty acids were taken in the first half of pregnancy. Many subsequent studies have confirmed similar results, with the additional finding that Omega-3 can also halve the risk of children developing egg allergies.

The chief takeaway is hardly news—expectant mothers can greatly improve the health of their child by carefully seeing to their own nutrition during pregnancy. But knowing the specific benefits of probiotics, vitamin B3, and Omega-3 is definitely helpful for mothers who wish to protect their infant from the challenges of eczema, especially early in life.

For more details on the benefits of vitamin B and Omega-3: