Maternal dietary antioxidant intake in pregnancy and childhood respiratory and atopic outcomes: birth cohort study

Annabelle Bedard, Kate Northstone, John Holloway, John Henderson, SO Shaheen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
340 Downloads (Pure)


Evidence for a possible protective effect of maternal dietary antioxidant intake during pregnancy on childhood asthma and other atopic outcomes is conflicting, and associations with childhood lung function have been little studied. In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, we analysed associations between maternal intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins C and E, carotene, zinc, and selenium in pregnancy, and current doctor-diagnosed asthma, atopy, and lung function in 8,915 children at 7-9 years. Potential modification of associations by maternal smoking and common maternal antioxidant gene polymorphisms was explored to strengthen causal inference. After controlling for confounders, positive associations were observed between maternal intake of zinc and childhood forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and forced vital capacity (FVC) (difference in age, height and gender adjusted standard deviation units per quartile increase in maternal dietary zinc intake β (95% CI): 0.05 (0.01,0.08), p-trend=0.01 and 0.05 (0.02,0.09), p-trend=0.005, respectively). Weak evidence was found for an interaction between maternal zinc intake and
maternal GSTM1 genotype on childhood FVC (p-interaction=0.05); association among the GSTM1 null group β: 0.11 (0.05,0.17), p-trend=0.001. Our results suggest that a higher maternal intake of zinc during pregnancy may be associated with better lung function in the offspring.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1800507
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number2
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • dietary antioxidant intake
  • lung function
  • birth-cohort
  • prenatal


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