Transcript: Preventing Allergies in Adulthood
So, during pregnancy, cutting down on meat consumption may decrease the risk of allergic diseases. But what about after children are born? Well, a preliminary study in Poland recently of vegetarian children suggested the benefits of meat restriction may continue after birth—concluding that some elements of a vegetarian diet may promote protection against allergy.
And indeed, according to the longest-running study in history comparing vegetarians to non-vegetarians, women who eat meat appear to have a 30% greater chance of reporting chemical allergies, 24% more asthma, 17% more drug allergies and bee-sting allergies, and 15% more hay fever—though in men, meat-eaters just had significantly greater chance of chemical and drug allergies. Now this was cross-sectional data, meaning that this was just a slice in time; so we don’t know necessarily which came first.
Yes, eating vegetarian was associated with significantly fewer allergies. But maybe people suffering from allergies are more likely to start eating healthy, hoping it will make them feel better. Still, after adjusting for other factors, like smoking, the findings do suggest a favorable effect of a plant-based diet on the prevalence of allergies.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.
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