Women who eat low-fat yoghurt during pregnancy could be increasing the risks of childhood asthma in their unborn baby, a new study has claimed.

Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health and Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen found that women who ate low fat yoghurts with fruit once a day were 1.6 times more likely to have children who went on to develop asthma by the age of seven.

Speaking at the European Respiratory Society conference, the experts also said that children were more likely to develop hay fever. They based their findings on a study of 70,000 Danish women and their children.

They believe it could be due to an absence of protective fatty acids in yogurt.

Lead researcher Ekaterina Maslova said: "It is a puzzling finding. The absence of fatty acids in low-fat yoghurt may be key to the results.

"The results suggest that fatty acids play an important role or it could be that people who ate this kind of yoghurt had similar lifestyle and dietary patterns, but we cannot make any conclusions at this stage.

"We need to replicate these results in other studies first."

Posted September 21st, 2011 at 0915 by Rob. Comment by emailing: robert.mair@pavpub.com