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Dietary habits and asthma: A review

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Many risk factors for the development of asthma and allergies have been proposed; although genetics are a major factor, the subject's environment and lifestyle may also contribute maximally to the disease. The role of diet has recently been investigated and recognized as a potential risk factor. It has been suggested that the rise in asthma prevalence may partly reflect changes in the population susceptibility resulting from alteration in diet, especially a fall in antioxidant intake, rather than increasing environmental toxicity. Many studies have shown that the decreased consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, and the increased intake of food rich in fat, is associated with increased risk of developing asthma. More recently, larger dietary patterns beyond individual nutrients have been investigated such as the Mediterranean diet. However, the results of these studies are inconsistent and even contradictory. Despite some promising hypotheses and findings, there has been no conclusive evidence about the role of specific nutrients, food types, or dietary patterns in the development of asthma.

Keywords: Allergies; Mediterranean diet; asthma; diet; fat; fish; fruit; nutrients; vegetables; vitamins

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Publication date: March 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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