Scientists are now exploring the possibility of reducing the chances of childhood asthma by feeding pregnant women with vitamin E-enriched soup!
A study planned by Professor Graham Devereux from the University of Aberdeen and his colleagues due to start shortly will test the benefits of three bowls of vitamin E-enriched soup per week in 25 women after completion of first trimester of pregnancy till delivery. The soup will contain natural sources of vitamin E like sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower oil, beans and lentils, which will provide around 3 mg of vitamin E. Using a natural source of vitamin E also provides other nutrients included in the natural source, and thereby could provide additional beneficial effects.
AdvertisementAnother 25 women will receive soup that does not contain vitamin E and will serve as a comparison group. However, the participants of the study will be unaware of which soup they are receiving.
The soups will be prepared by Scotland's Baxter group. Three flavors of soup will be available to the participants.
How is adding vitamin E to the diet of pregnant women going to affect the development of childhood asthma in the babies? Previous studies have suggested that a lack of vitamin E in the diet during pregnancy puts the baby at an increased risk for developing asthma by the age of 5 years.
Tests to detect any abnormalities in lung function will be carried out on the babies during the first week following birth.
The study researchers hope to find a simple and inexpensive solution to the problem of childhood asthma through this study. Depending on participants' response and the results of this small study, the researchers hope to carry out the same study on a larger scale to establish that supplementation of vitamin E in pregnancy can prevent childhood asthma.