Early-life folate levels are associated with incident allergic sensitization.

Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 12.05). 10/2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.08.015
Source: PubMed
1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Food allergies are increasing in prevalence at a higher rate than can be explained by genetic factors, suggesting a role for as yet unidentified environmental factors. In this review, we summarize the state of knowledge about the healthy immune response to antigens in the diet and the basis of immune deviation that results in immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization and allergic reactivity to foods. The intestinal epithelium forms the interface between the external environment and the mucosal immune system, and emerging data suggest that the interaction between intestinal epithelial cells and mucosal dendritic cells is of particular importance in determining the outcome of immune responses to dietary antigens. Exposure to food allergens through non-oral routes, in particular through the skin, is increasingly recognized as a potentially important factor in the increasing rate of food allergy. There are many open questions on the role of environmental factors, such as dietary factors and microbiota, in the development of food allergy, but data suggest that both have an important modulatory effect on the mucosal immune system. Finally, we discuss recent developments in our understanding of immune mechanisms of clinical manifestations of food allergy. New experimental tools, particularly in the field of genomics and the microbiome, are likely to shed light on factors responsible for the growing clinical problem of food allergy.
    Current biology: CB 05/2013; 23(9):R389-400. · 10.99 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: After a brief period of stabilization, recent data have shown that the prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases continues to increase. Atopic diseases are major public health problems resulting in significant disability and resource use globally. Although environmental factors influence the development of atopic disease, dietary changes might partially explain the high burden of atopic disease. Potential mechanisms through which diet is suspected to effect asthma and allergy susceptibility are through epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation. Dietary methyl donors are important in the one-carbon metabolic pathway that is essential for DNA methylation. Findings from both observational studies and interventional trials of dietary methyl donor supplementation on the development and treatment of asthma and allergy have produced mixed results. Although issues related to the differences in study design partially explain the heterogeneous results, 2 other issues have been largely overlooked in these studies. First, these nutrients affect one of many pathways and occur in many of the same foods. Second, it is now becoming clear that the human intestinal microbiome is involved in the metabolism and production of the B vitamins and other methyl donor nutrients. Future studies will need to account for both the interrelationships between these nutrients and the effects of the microbiome.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 12/2013; · 12.05 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although both folic acid intake and vitamin D levels are hypothesized to be contributors to the increased incidence of allergic diseases, prospective studies of these relationships have not been done in adults. We sought to determine whether serum folate or vitamin D levels are associated with incident mouse sensitization among new workers at a mouse facility. Subjects started employment at the Jackson Laboratory between June 2004 and July 2007. Skin testing to mouse and other allergens and collection of questionnaire data were performed at baseline and every 6 months. Serum folate and vitamin D levels were assessed on baseline samples stored at -80°C. Folate was categorized into tertiles (2.5-10.5, 10.5-16.2, and 16.2-78.4 ng/mL, respectively). Vitamin D was categorized as less than 20 ng/mL, 20 to 29 ng/mL, or 30 ng/mL or greater. This was a nested case-control study in which 5 control subjects were matched to each case on baseline atopy and type of employment. Multivariate analyses controlled for age, sex, education, smoking, season, personal mouse exposure, and serum folate and vitamin D levels. Thirty-five cases and 47 control subjects were included. The odds of incident mouse sensitization were higher in the intermediate and highest tertiles of serum folate compared with the lowest tertile of serum folate (odds ratio of 10.5 [95% CI, 1.8-61.5; P = .009] and odds ratio of 5.6 [95% CI, 1.8-31.3; P = .049], respectively, in the multivariate model). Serum vitamin D levels were not associated with incident mouse sensitization. These findings support a role for higher serum folate levels in increased risk of incident allergic disease, even during adulthood.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 11/2013; · 12.05 Impact Factor