October 13, 2015
1 min read

Dietary factors linked to asthma symptoms, allergic sensitization

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A healthy diet for children can help reduce the risk for allergies, allergic symptoms and allergy sensitization, according to study results.

Danielle Saadeh, PhD, of the clinical and epidemiological research laboratory at Lebanese University in Hadath in Lebanon, and colleagues evaluated 7,432 children aged 9 to 11 years in France using a parental questionnaire based on the International Study on Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC).

Parents were polled on the types of foods their children ate, whether they ate school (canteen) lunches and how often their children ate.

The researchers performed skin prick testing and bronchial hyper-responsiveness testing to identify allergic sensitivity as well as common allergies.

Saadeh and colleagues found that consumption of fruit juice reduced the risk for asthma over a lifetime (adjusted OR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56-0.97), whereas butter was associated with developing atopic wheeze (adjusted OR = 1.48; 95% CI, 1.07-2.05).

Having a canteen lunch one or two times per week was associated with wheeze development during the previous year (adjusted OR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.52-0.96), lifetime asthma risk (adjusted OR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.6-0.96) and sensitivity to allergies (adjusted OR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.67-0.95).

Previous-year wheeze was also associated with eating meat for atopic children (adjusted OR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.5-0.98). Consumption of fast food (OR = 2.39; 95% CI, 1.47-3.93) and butter (OR = 1.51; 95% CI, 1.47-3.93) increased a child’s risk for developing asthma.

Fish also was associated with reduced risk for asthma among non-atopic children (adjusted OR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.43-0.87).

Boys and children in the northern region of France were at an increased for developing asthma, asthma symptoms and allergic sensitization.

“Dietary factors could be associated with asthma related symptoms and allergic sensitization in children,” Saadeh and colleagues wrote. “This study provides further evidence that adherence to a healthy diet that is rich especially in fruits, fish and meat may provide protection against allergies and especially asthma in children.” – by Jeff Craven

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.