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Apples consumed during pregnancy might protect newborns from asthma
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If women often eat apples during pregnancy, their offspring might have lower rates of asthma, a new study showed.

The study, conducted by Dutch researchers, was based on the analysis of 1,253 children from before birth to age 5.

In the study, the children's mothers completed food questionnaires during their pregnancies, and their children's health was assessed with a symptom questionnaire. The children's diets were also assessed.

The findings showed that women who consumed the most apples during pregnancy -- more than four a week -- had children who were 37 percent less likely to have ever wheezed than children of mothers who had the lowest consumption of apples during pregnancy.

The study was published in the January issue of Thorax.

The mechanism behind apples' apparent protective effect may have something to do with the flavonoids and other antioxidants contained in apples, said Dr. Devang Doshi, director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, who did not take part in the study.

More than 20 million Americans have asthma and about 6.2 million of those are children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2009)

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