Two interesting studies on children’s health from Finland

The first of these studies was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2001;322:1-5). It followed 594 children who attended different day care centers in Helsinki over a period of seven months. The children were divided in two groups, one receiving plain milk, and the other milk with Lactobacillus GG (LGG) in it. Lactobacillus is a dietary supplement consisting of bacteria that is beneficial for the intestinal tract and the immune system. LGG is a special strain of this bacteria found in a product called Culturelle.

The group receiving LGG in their milk had significantly fewer days away from day care due to illness and they were free from respiratory tract symptoms for longer periods of time. More complicated infections, such as sinus or ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia were also reduced in the group receiving LGG.

The second study (Allergy, 2001;56:425-8) found that children who consumed higher amounts of margarine were more likely to develop allergic diseases, including eczema, asthma and hay fever. Children who remained free of these diseases typically consumed more butter than margarine. Here’s one more good reason to avoid margarine!

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