Wellness Database: Allergies
Allergies are often caused by poor nutrition or environmental factors. Allergies can be the result of vitamin deficiency.
Obesity Linked to Allergies in Children
This study published in 2009 suggests that obesity may be a contributing factor in the prevalence of allergic reactions in children. Reducing obesity, then, may be a good way to prevent this chronic condition.
Background The prevalence of both obesity and allergic disease has increased among children over the last several decades. Previous literature on the relationship between obesity and allergic disease has been inconsistent. It is not known whether systemic inflammation could be a factor in this relationship.
Objective We sought to examine the association of obesity with total and allergen-specific IgE levels and allergy symptoms in US children and adolescents and to assess the role of C-reactive protein.
Methods National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2005-2006 included measurement of total and allergen-specific IgE levels and allergy questions. Overweight was defined as the 85th or greater to less than the 95th percentile of body mass index for age, and obesity was defined as the 95th percentile or greater. Linear and logistic regression models were used to examine the association of weight categories with total IgE levels, atopy, allergen-specific IgE levels, and allergy symptoms among youth aged 2 to 19 years.
Results Geometric mean total IgE levels were higher among obese (geometric mean ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.10-1.57) and overweight (ratio, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.02-1.54) children than among normal-weight children. The odds ratio (OR) for atopy (any positive specific IgE measurement) was increased in the obese children compared with that seen in those of normal weight; this association was driven largely by allergic sensitization to foods (OR for atopy, 1.26 [95% CI, 1.03-1.55]; OR for food sensitization, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.28-1.98]). C-reactive protein levels were associated with total IgE levels, atopy, and food sensitization.
Conclusions Obesity might be a contributor to the increased prevalence of allergic disease in children, particularly food allergy. Systemic inflammation might play a role in the development of allergic disease.
Read the results here: http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2809%2900115-8/abstract
Pycnogenol Supplementation Fights Allergic Symptoms
This double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that supplementation with Pycnogenol improves allergic symptoms. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant pine-bark extract from France that is also known to counteract the effects of erectile dysfunction.
The potential of Pycnogenol for relieving allergic rhinitis (birch pollen) symptoms was explored in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. In 2008 19 subjects started treatment 3 weeks prior to the onset of birch pollen season in Ontario, Canada. While there was an improvementof eye and nasal symptoms with Pycnogenol, there was no significance versus placebo. It was postulated that Pycnogenol may require a lag-time between the start of therapy and the onset of action. Therefore 39 subjects were treated 5-8 weeks prior to the 2009 birch allergy season. The evaluation of subjects in 2009 showed much lower scores for eye (-35%) and nasal (-20.5%) symptoms with Pycnogenol compared with placebo. In succession of the allergy season birch specific IgE increased by 31.9% in the placebo group compared with only 19.4% in the Pycnogenol group. Detailed analysis suggested that symptom-relief was better the longer subjects were on Pycnogenol prior to the allergen exposure. The best results were found with subjects who took Pycnogenol 7-8 weeks ahead of the allergy season. With the limited number of 39 patients statistical predications were unattainable. In conclusion, Pycnogenol improved allergic rhinitis symptoms when supplementation was started at least 5 weeks before the onset of the allergy season.
Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Development of Allergies
A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased sensitivity to allergens, which cause allergies. Boosting Vitamin D through supplementation or additional time spent in the sun may decrease the likelihood of developing allergies.
Background: Previous research supports a possible link between low vitamin D levels and atopic disease. However, the association between low vitamin D levels and total and allergen-specific IgE levels has not been studied.
Objective: We sought to test the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) deficiency (<15 ng/mL) and insufficiency (15-29 ng/mL) and allergic sensitization measured by serum IgE levels in a US nationally representative sample of 3136 children and adolescents and 3454 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006.
Methods: The association of 25(OH)D deficiency with 17 different allergens was assessed after adjustment for potential confounders, including age; sex; race/ethnicity; obesity, low socioeconomic status; frequency of milk intake; daily hours spent watching television, playing videogames, or using a computer; serum cotinine levels; and vitamin D supplement use.
Results: In children and adolescents allergic sensitization to 11 of 17 allergens was more common in those with 25(OH)D deficiency. Compared with sufficient vitamin D levels of greater than 30 ng/mL, after multivariate adjustment, 25(OH)D levels of less than 15 ng/mL were associated with peanut (odds ratio [OR], 2.39; 95% CI, 1.29-4.45), ragweed (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.20-2.80), and oak (OR, 4.75; 95% CI, 1.53-4.94) allergies (P < .01 for all). Eight other allergens were associated with 25(OH)D deficiency, with P values of less than .05 but greater than .01. There were no consistent associations seen between 25(OH)D levels and allergic sensitization in adults.
Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher levels of IgE sensitization in children and adolescents. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.
Read the research: http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2811%2900059-5/abstract
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Nutrients and Diet
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