Pregnant and new moms often ask me about the role of nutrition in developing allergies. Rightfully so. Over the past decade, the incidence of allergic disease has increased from 20 to 30%. Peanut and other food allergies are rampant in schools. Asthma in children is on the rise. The incidence only continues to increase for unknown reasons. They want to know- “Can diet cause or prevent allergies?”
I’ve written before (Food Allergy- the ugly, the bad, the good....) about the complex interaction between nutrition, environmental exposures, genetics, infections and other unknowns play a role in the whether a person develops allergies or not.
There is some promising news though….
Researchers in Europe in a quest to find the answer looked at the role of a “diverse” diet during the first year of life and the development of food allergies, asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema).
They followed the diets of 856 children from year 1 to 6 years of age looking at the development of eczema, allergic rhinitis, asthma and food allergies.
What did they find?
- Children with a more diverse diet were at lower risk for the development of allergic disease.
- This included- asthma, food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and eczema.
Bottom line- Does Diet Affect the Development of Allergies?
- We don’t know the answer to the cause and more importantly, how to prevent the development of all types of allergic diseases.
- Nutrition does appear to influence the development of allergies.
- Eating a more diverse diet appears when you are young has an inverse relationship with the development of allergies.
Have specific questions about allergies? Please call the office 212-679-3574 or go to our on-line appointment scheduler .