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Low-fat yoghurt link to asthma in pregnancy

Unborn babies could be at increased risk of asthma and hayfever if women were to eat low-fat yoghurt during their pregnancy, researchers claim.

It is believed the heightened risk may be caused the yoghurt's "non-fat related nutrient components".

Dr Ekaterina Maslova of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston US, and her team analysed the dairy intake in 61,912 pregnant women to determine the importance of dairy products in child development.

The study found children of mothers who drank several glasses of milk a day in pregnancy had a lower risk of asthma than those who drank no milk at seven years of age.

Researchers also noted that the children of mothers that consumed one or more fruit low-fat yoghurts a day had "significantly higher" rates of asthma diagnosis and hay fever.

"[The findings] could be due to a number of reasons and we will further investigate whether this is linked to certain nutrients or whether people who ate yoghurt regularly had similar lifestyle and dietary patterns which could explain the increased risk of asthma," said Dr Maslova.

"We cannot make any conclusions at this stage. We need to replicate these results in other studies first."

The study will be presented at the European Respiratory Society's meeting in Amsterdam on September 25.

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