Study finds giving children yoghurt could reduce risks of developing eczema and allergies 5 months ago

Study finds giving children yoghurt could reduce risks of developing eczema and allergies

Confession: If it wasn't for yoghurt, my little boy would have probably starved to death.

OK, that might have been a little bit of an exaggeration, but seriously; he loves yoghurt far more than he loves any other food, and there are days when I, after having tried every bribery under the sun to get him to try something else, will just give in and let him have yoghurt for dinner. Again.

I take comfort in that the yoghurt he likes is the Greek variety with no added sugar and that he sometimes lets me top it with some nuts/seeds/berries, but still.

However, some new research has now shown that feeding babies yoghurt is actually all sorts of good, and may, in fact, reduce their chances of developing eczema and other allergies.

According to a new study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy, researchers found that infants who are given yoghurt as a regular part of their diet in their first year of life have a lower eczema and allergy risk. In fact, the team of New Zealand researchers discovered that eating yoghurt daily by age one decreased eczema and allergy in little ones by up to 70 percent.

This is what lead research Dr. Julian Crane, a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington, had to say:

“The more regularly yoghurt was given, the greater the effect.”

The findings suggest that feeding infants yoghurt regularly can give them added protection against eczema and other allergies. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to wait until age 1 to add cow’s milk to a baby’s diet, but notes “other milk-based products such as cheese and yoghurt are safe before age 1”.

Although the new study shows the added benefits of yoghurt, there are still some things that are unknown. Crane explains further: “We found that regular consumption of yoghurt gave stronger protection, but what we don’t know yet, is what type of yoghurt is best or how much is protective."