Preventing Childhood Allergies

Preventing Childhood Allergies
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What is responsible for the rising prevalence of atopic diseases, such as food allergies, asthma, hay fever, and eczema?

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The prevalence of so-called atopic diseases—food allergies, asthma, hay fever, eczema—appears to be increasing year by year, around the world. Doubling, tripling, even quadrupling. Here’s asthma rates over the years. Here’s hospitalizations for food allergies among American children over just a few years. What’s going on?

Well, we had a little new insight recently. Eczema—atopic dermatitis—is a red, itchy, bumpy rash that can develop into thick, scaly, or leathery lesions.

Researchers in Japan wondered if the Westernization of the Japanese diet could account for the dramatic rise in incidence. In the first study of its kind, they found that higher maternal intake of meat during pregnancy was significantly associated with an increased risk of both suspected and physician-diagnosed eczema. They suggest that “certain components of meat” may affect the fetal immune system. They thought maybe it was the saturated fat, but that didn’t pan out. Maybe it’s the cooked meat carcinogens? Bottom line; they don’t know what it could be about the meat.

They were surprised that fish did not reduce the incidence of the disease, given the anti-inflammatory nature of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. They suggest maybe it’s the mercury and dioxins that are accumulated in fish that might be counteracting the omega-3 advantages.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Care SMC / flickr

The prevalence of so-called atopic diseases—food allergies, asthma, hay fever, eczema—appears to be increasing year by year, around the world. Doubling, tripling, even quadrupling. Here’s asthma rates over the years. Here’s hospitalizations for food allergies among American children over just a few years. What’s going on?

Well, we had a little new insight recently. Eczema—atopic dermatitis—is a red, itchy, bumpy rash that can develop into thick, scaly, or leathery lesions.

Researchers in Japan wondered if the Westernization of the Japanese diet could account for the dramatic rise in incidence. In the first study of its kind, they found that higher maternal intake of meat during pregnancy was significantly associated with an increased risk of both suspected and physician-diagnosed eczema. They suggest that “certain components of meat” may affect the fetal immune system. They thought maybe it was the saturated fat, but that didn’t pan out. Maybe it’s the cooked meat carcinogens? Bottom line; they don’t know what it could be about the meat.

They were surprised that fish did not reduce the incidence of the disease, given the anti-inflammatory nature of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. They suggest maybe it’s the mercury and dioxins that are accumulated in fish that might be counteracting the omega-3 advantages.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Care SMC / flickr

Nota del Doctor

Check out my other videos on allergies as well as my other videos on immune function.  

For additional context, check out my associated blog posts: Plant-Based Benefits Extend Beyond the Top KillersProtecting Our Babies From PollutantsPlant-Based Diets for PsoriasisSchoolchildren Should Drink More Water; and Mushrooms and Immunity.

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