Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Some Fruits and Veggies Worsen Hay Fever in Kids

Finally, researchers have come to their senses.

Swedish scientists released a study saying that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal when it comes to people with environmental allergies. They say that some proteins in fruits like apples and pears resemble the pollen parts that trigger hay fever, meaning that kids with existing allergies might react. We have been waiting for so long to for a mainstream journal like
the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology to corroborate what we have been saying forever.

The researchers looked at data on nearly 2,500 eight-year-olds who had participated since birth in a larger Swedish study. Based on blood tests and questionnaires filled out by parents, the researchers found that 7% of the children had asthma. The rates of hay fever and skin rashes were more than twice as high. Kids with the biggest appetite for fruit had less than two-thirds the odds of hay fever than those who ate the least amount. Apples, pears and carrots appeared to be particularly helpful. However, it turned out that half the children with hay fever were sensitive to birch tree pollen, one of the pollens known to resemble the proteins in apples and carrots. When the team repeated the analysis excluding the 122 kids with food-related allergy symptoms, the hay fever link disappeared as well.

The researchers say more studies are needed, particularly in other parts of the world that may have a different variety of allergens. And those studies should not forget to look at how allergies might influence what participants eat, they add. "Studying diet it is not so easy when it comes to the relation with allergic disease, because it is such a complex disease pattern," the lead researcher said.

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