Can Yogurt During Pregnancy Cause Asthma?

Yoghurt en côte d'or
Creative Commons License photo credit: Fabio Bruna

There are some basic nutritional principles that you should follow whether or not you’re pregnant. A low-fat diet, getting enough folic acid, and watching your cholesterol are all good ideas regardless of whether you’re expecting. One of those innocuous foods that’s usually considered to be good for you is low-fat yoghurt. There is research coming out now, however, that suggests eating low-fat yoghurt during pregnancy could trigger asthma.

The benefits of dairy during pregnancy

A study done at that Harvard School of Public Health looked at the intake of dairy products of almost 62,000 women. What they discovered was that women who drank several glasses of milk each day had children that had a lower overall risk of asthma. It’s also thought that the nutrients in dairy products help to reduce the risk of developing allergies.

What was surprising about this study, however, is that the children of mothers who consumed low-fat yoghurt once or more per day during pregnancy had higher rates – significantly higher rates, actually – of asthma and hay fever.

Connecting the dots

At this point, the research team thinks that the increased asthma risk may have to do with the nutritional components used to make the yoghurt non-fat. There may also be lifestyle issues related to the consumption of low-fat yoghurt that the study didn’t look at.

This is the first time that yoghurt consumption during pregnancy has been linked to any kind of health risk, and particularly asthma. More research is definitely needed to confirm the conclusions of the study, and to rule out additional possible factors that happen to also correlate with low-fat yoghurt consumption.

A cautious eye

Certainly there’s no reason to panic and begin an informational campaign for pregnant women to avoid low-fat yoghurt. However, it does mean that pregnant women will want to carefully watch what they eat, and to make sure that you’re paying attention to what’s being released in terms of research on pregnancy nutrition.

So, what do you think? Do you eat low-fat yoghurt during pregnancy? Is this study enough to make you think about cutting it out of your diet, or lowering your consumption?

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