PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
Results of several individual studies have suggested an association between specific nutrient and food intake and the development of atopic disease. This study aimed to systematically review and analyze the published literature.
This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of published literature. Reviewed studies included pregnant women, infants, and children younger than 16 years.
Eleven databases were systematically reviewed for studies that investigated the role of nutrients and foods for the primary prevention of atopic disorders in children.
There were 62 eligible reports identified from cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies. Serum vitamin A levels were lower in children with asthma compared with controls (odds ratio [OR]: 0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1–0.4]). High maternal dietary intake of vitamin D and E during pregnancy was protective for the development of wheezing (OR: 0.56 [95% CI: 0.42–0.73] and 0.68 [95% CI: 0.52–0.88], respectively). Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was protective for persistent wheeze and atopy (OR: 0.22 [95% CI: 0.08–0.58] and 0.55 [95% CI: 0.31–0.97], respectively). The authors of most (17 of 22) fruit and vegetable studies reported beneficial associations with asthma and allergic outcomes.
The available evidence is supportive with respect to vitamins A, D, and E; zinc; fruits and vegetables; and a Mediterranean diet for the prevention of atopic disease.
Although the study was observational in nature, its results highlight the importance of dietary exposures in the development of atopic disease. Controlled interventional studies are warranted to determine if it is possible to prevent atopic disease with dietary modification.
- Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics