Allergies have always seemed a bit mysterious. While we’ve developed plenty of ways to treat allergy symptoms, we still know very little about what causes allergies in the first place. However, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who suffer from allergies—and scientists suspect that it’s probably not related to genetics. Interestingly enough, a new, promising study links the rise in dust-mite allergies to dietary changes.
What Are Dust-Mite Allergies?
Dust-mites are microscopic creatures measuring 1/3-¼ of a millimeter that feeds on dead skin left from humans and animals. As it turns out, every single day, an adult will shed up to 1.5g of skin, which is enough to feed over a million dust mites. A certain protein in a dust-mite's waste is known as a common allergen. Unfortunately, dust-mites produce up to 200 times their body weight in the fecal matter over the course of their lifetimes.
What Have We Learned About Dust-Mite Allergies?
A study conducted by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute found in a trial run that mothers who took omega-3 pills while pregnant significantly reduced the chances that their children would develop a dust-mite allergy. The children were 40% less likely to suffer from dust-mite allergies and hay fever if their mothers had taken fish oil supplements. While the findings are not necessarily conclusive, they are very promising. After all, if allergies are linked to nutrient imbalances, we can easily prevent them.
What Does That Mean for You?
You should always make sure you’re eating a healthy diet, but you should be especially careful during pregnancy. It’s incredibly important that your intake of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is in proportion.
According to the findings in this study, you might be able to reduce your child’s risk of developing dust-mite allergies simply by limiting your intake of fast foods, processed oils, and animal products. You should also make sure to get some omega-3's in your diet by adding some delicious salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts to your meals from time to time.