Vitamin E in Soup Could Reduce Risk of Asthma

Cucumber SoupAccording to an upcoming study conducted by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, pregnant women who eat soup containing ingredients with high levels of vitamin E could lower the risk of developing asthma in their children.

In previous studies, children born to mothers whose pregnancy diets are low in vitamin E have an increased chance of developing asthma by five years of age. To increase the amount of vitamin E that the pregnant women participating in the study receive, the researchers will be focusing on soups made with foods that contain high levels of the vitamin such as beans, lentils, wheat-germ, sunflower oil, and sun-dried tomatoes.

For the study, a group of pregnant women will consume three servings of soup each week starting during week 12 of pregnancy. The control group will be eat soup that looks and tastes the same but without the intensified levels of vitamin E. After birth, the researchers will examine the lung function of the babies.

As Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Aberdeen and Honorary Consultant Physician at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Graham Devereux explains:

“Although far more difficult, it seems more natural to give vitamin E in a natural food more natural to give vitamin E in a natural food form rather than a vitamin E pill because the vitamin E containing foods comprise a complex mix of nutrients that might be critically important, when one considers the foods containing vitamin E, soup seems an obvious intervention.”

“The ultimate aim of this research is to reduce the prevalence of asthma by an effective, inexpensive, acceptable and safe public health dietary intervention. If successful, the proposed intervention could form the basis of public health dietary advice to pregnant women that could reduce the prevalence of childhood asthma by 15-20% within five years.”

“The potentially much more important strategy of preventing asthma has been recognized and researched but not yet realized. We are launching an initial pilot study to see if pregnant women will take part in such a trial and are happy with the soup intervention. Depending on the outcome we will then launch a much bigger study which we hope will show that vitamin E does indeed reduce the risk of children developing asthma.”

If the results of the upcoming study yield positive results, the researchers will perform further studies on larger groups of pregnant women.


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