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Allergies and Asthma- Cause Still Unknown

Recent research has revealed that common precautions like ridding the house of dust mites or making dietary changes does not stop children from developing asthma or eczema as was earlier believed//.

This research has proved that common precautionary measures undertaken by parents to prevent many allergic conditions do not work.

The research team from Sydney tracked 600 children from birth to age 5, from western and south-western Sydney with a family history of asthma.

to test whether avoiding dust mites in the home had any benefits.

According to Dr Guy Marks, a researcher at Sydney's Woolcock Institute, ‘Basically, there wasn't any reduction in the risk of allergic disease or asthma, which was unexpected.’

The researchers also tested whether boosting levels of omega-3 fatty acids in a child's diet could prevent allergic conditions as had been shown by previous studies.

However this too didn not prove to have any preventive benefits.

"Once again we weren't able to demonstrate any beneficial effect," he said.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The result undermines popular beliefs leaving parents with no solid advice beyond the recommendation not to smoke around their children..

Dr Marks said, "We're left with not having any strong evidence, apart from the avoidance of environmental tobacco smoke, about things that can be done to prevent the onset of asthma in children."

The results only show that parents should not blame themselves for failing to help their children avoid the conditions.

"Clearly, now there is no reason for people to feel that they should have been making major changes in the household."

However this does not indicate that asthma and eczema are entirely genetic diseases, with Dr Marks remarking that some environmental factors often contribute to their onset.

"The fac t is that at the moment, though, we don't know what they are, or how they affect us," he said.

It has been estimated that over two million Australians have asthma with about 15 per cent of children diagnosed with the disease.

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