N° 31 | April 2018

F&V to prevent allergy and asthma


Numerous environmental factors can be instrumental in the onset of allergic conditions such as asthma or eczema.

While tobacco and other pollutants are well-identified factors, the role of food is not as well known. The first article is from a recent review conducted by an Australian team detailing literature on the consumption of fruit and vegetables and asthma. Two epidemiological studies are then described.

Research by S. Andrusaityte et al. relates to a Lithuanian case-control study among 1,489 children aged 4 to 6. After taking into account many confounding factors, including the level of education, the risk of wheezing (but not asthma) in children who eat fruit dropped significantly (-52%). Those who eat nuts saw the risk of eczema drop by 61%.

Finally, the study by V. Garcia Larsen et al. partially addresses a very vast crosssectional study among 143,967 children aged 6 to 7 from 11 Latin American countries. After taking into account a number of confounding factors, such as physical activity, body mass index or the level of maternal education, the consumption of fruit is inversely correlated with the existence of wheezing (-35%), rhino-conjunctivitis (-28%) or eczema (-36%). The consumption of hamburgers or fast food is positively associated with these symptoms!

The assumptions as to the benefit found in observation studies involve the role of antioxidants, flavonoids and microbiota. Fruit and vegetables are always there, even when you least expect them!

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