Babies Who Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Are Less Likely to Develop Food Allergies

13 Aug 2013 --- Babies who ate more fruits and vegetables and fewer packaged foods were less likely to develop food allergies in a new study that looked at overall diet patterns instead of just specific foods.

"We have been aware that certain diets seem to reduce the risk of allergy in infants," said Dr. Magnus Wickman, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, who was not involved in the study.

"The mechanism behind that is that we think that different kinds of fatty acids and antioxidants, different kinds of vitamins and essential minerals are good for your health and also prevent allergy," he said.
Researchers estimate that up to 8% of children have a food allergy.

Parents are sometimes advised to avoid certain foods as a means of preventing food allergies from starting. But Kate Grimshaw, lead author of the new study and a researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK, said she has been concerned that parents are reducing the nutritional diversity of their infants' diet without there being a great deal of evidence to back it up.

To see how parents are feeding their infants, and whether that appears to have any influence on food allergies, Grimshaw and her colleagues collected food diaries from the parents of 1,140 babies.
The parents typically maintained the diet log for the first year of life, Grimshaw and her colleagues report in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

During that time, 41 children were diagnosed with a food allergy, and Grimshaw's group compared these infants to 82 similar babies without an allergy.

The researchers scored the babies' diets based on the combination of different foods they ate.
They found that babies without food allergies scored higher than babies with allergies on a diet that was rich in healthy, often homemade, foods -- including fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish -- and scant on processed foods such as pre-made meals, potato chips, cook-in sauces and bacon.

"The analysis showed that the infants who were having more fruits and vegetables and less commercially produced baby foods and also less adult foods were the ones who were less likely to develop an allergy by the time they were two," Grimshaw said.

"It's not that they didn't have commercially-made baby foods, it's just that they did not have them predominantly in their diet," she added.

The study could not determine why the fresher type of diet seemed to protect against food allergies, and the results do not prove that the dietary patterns caused the differences in allergy rates.

Wickman said that studies on diet and allergy are extremely difficult, and that it is a challenge for researchers to account for other factors that might influence what a child eats and his risk for developing a food allergy.

Still, it is possible that the foods themselves are responsible.

"We know that there are nutrients in the diet that educate the immune system. And one could argue that if they're not there in adequate amounts when the child's immune system is developing, that may be one way that this is working," Grimshaw said.

Wickman said that there is no evidence that avoiding allergenic foods, such as nuts, fish and eggs is beneficial in preventing food allergies.

She added, there is very little risk in recommending that parents focus on fresh fruits and vegetables.
"Healthy food has so many good things, and maybe it also can reduce the risk of food allergy in the child," Wickman opined.

Doctors and health officials already recommend that children get plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid junk foods.

Grimshaw said the results are just another reason for parents to feed their children fruits and vegetables and to try to serve home-made meals.
 

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Food for Thought: UK Teenagers Losing Learning Time Due to Hunger

27 Jun 2017 --- Teenage pupils in high school can lose around 51 minutes’ worth of vital learning time a day because their concentration levels dip due to hunger. This is according to the results of a survey conducted in the UK by Kellogg’s. The survey results show that 82 percent of teachers in Britain have seen teens arriving at school hungry every day. And nearly four in 10 teachers believed one reason children in their class were hungry was due to their parents being unable to afford food for breakfast.

Business News

Key Interview: Algatech Targets Synergistic Effects to Advance Microalgae Industry

27 Jun 2017 --- Interest in microalgae has surged over the past decade, and as a result, a growing number of companies have sought to develop new products and technologies to harness the myriad health benefits these unicellular species provide. And according to Algatechnologies, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of microalgae’s potential benefits and applications. 

Nutrition & Health News

Heightened Risk in Rice? Toxicity of Thioarsenates for Plants Uncovered

27 Jun 2017 --- Although it is a staple food in many regions of the world, rice sometimes contains levels of arsenic that are hazardous to our health. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that there are arsenic compounds which have a toxic effect on plants and yet had not previously been considered in connection with chemical analyses of rice and the estimated health risks for humans. The research concerns thioarsenates, compounds made up of arsenic and sulphur, which may be present in rice fields more often than previously assumed. 

Nutrition & Health News

Nanoparticles as Food Additives due for Risk Reassessment: Researchers

27 Jun 2017 --- The anticaking agent E551 silicon dioxide, or silica, has been used widely in the food industry over the past 50 years, and was long thought to be quite safe. Now, however, researchers working on the National Research Programme “Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials” have discovered that these nanoparticles can affect the immune system of the digestive tract.

Business News

Buhler Awarded Contract to Support Food Fortification Program in Pakistan

26 Jun 2017 --- To support the fortification of staple foods in Pakistan, the UK-based Food Fortification Program has awarded Bühler a multi-million contract to supply more than 1000 micro feeders in 2017 and 2018. The program is funded with US$48 million from the UK’s Department for International Development. By directly supporting local mills and food factories, the program is aiming to have a substantial impact on the well-being of close to 100 million people.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Babies-Who-Eat-More-Fruits-and-Vegetables-Are-Less-Likely-to-Develop-Food-Allergies.html