Maternal food consumption during pregnancy and asthma, respiratory and atopic symptoms in 5-year-old children

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Thorax (Impact Factor: 8.56). 09/2007; 62(9):773-9. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2006.074187
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Associations between maternal vitamin E, vitamin D and zinc intakes during pregnancy and asthma, wheeze and eczema in 5-year-old children have previously been reported. A study was undertaken to investigate whether maternal intake of specific foods during pregnancy is associated with asthma and allergic outcomes in the same children.
A longitudinal birth cohort study was conducted in 1,924 children born to women recruited during pregnancy. Maternal diet during pregnancy was assessed by food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Cohort children were followed up at 5 years by symptom questionnaire and FFQ. Food groups of interest were fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, whole grain products, fish, dairy products and fat spreads. Trends across outcome groups defined by level of food intake are presented.
1,253 children participated at 5 years and maternal FFQ data were available for 1,212. No consistent associations were found between childhood outcomes and maternal intake of the analysed foods except for apples and fish. Maternal apple intake was beneficially associated with ever wheeze (OR highest vs lowest tertile 0.63, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.95), ever asthma (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.92) and doctor-confirmed asthma (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.82) in the children. Maternal fish consumption was beneficially associated with doctor-confirmed eczema (OR >or=1/week vs never 0.57, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.92).
There was no evidence for associations between maternal intake of most foods during pregnancy and asthma, respiratory and allergic outcomes in 5-year-old children, except for apples and fish. Consumption of apples and fish during pregnancy may have a protective effect against the development of childhood asthma and allergic disease.


Available from: Anthony Seaton, Jun 12, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the last decades there has been an increase in allergic disease throughout the world, particularly in children. Attempts have been made to identify the causes of this "allergy epidemic" in environmental changes and changes in population hygiene, lifestyle, socioeconomic level, and eating habits that would exert epigenetic effects. Dietetic hypotheses have been mainly focussed in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin D, antioxidants, Mediterranean diet, and fruits, vegetables and fish consumption. Although the data suggest a certain association between diet and the development of asthma/allergy, there is no evidence that diet has an impact upon the prevalence of such diseases after early infancy. If indeed there is such an impact, it is likely to be confined to the prenatal period and the first months of life - when it is still possible to modulate the development of the respiratory, digestive and immune systems. Thus, once the most appropriate preventive measures have been defined, these should be implemented during pregnancy and lactation. The existing scientific evidence is unable to recommend any primary preventive measure in the general population or in different population subgroups. Special or restrictive diets in pregnant or nursing women are not indicated. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months is questioned, since solid foods should begin to be introduced at around four months of age. Once the atopic process has started, no nutritional strategies have been found to be effective as secondary or tertiary preventive measures. Longitudinal studies in cohorts of pregnant women or newborn infants could help clarify these issues.
    Allergologia et Immunopathologia 03/2012; 40(4):244-52. DOI:10.1016/j.aller.2011.12.006 · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fruit consumption is believed to have beneficial health effects, and some claim, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." To examine the relationship between eating an apple a day and keeping the doctor away. A cross-sectional study of a nationally representative sample of the noninstitutionalized US adult population. A total of 8728 adults 18 years and older from the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire and reported that the quantity of food they ate was reflective of their usual daily diet. Daily apple eaters (consuming the equivalent of at least 1 small apple daily, or 149 g of raw apple) vs non-apple eaters, based on the reported quantity of whole apple consumed during the 24-hour dietary recall period. The primary outcome measure was success at "keeping the doctor away," measured as no more than 1 visit (self-reported) to a physician during the past year; secondary outcomes included successful avoidance of other health care services (ie, no overnight hospital stays, visits to a mental health professional, or prescription medications). Of 8399 eligible study participants who completed the dietary recall questionnaire, we identified 753 adult apple eaters (9.0%)-those who typically consume at least 1 small apple per day. Compared with the 7646 non-apple eaters (91.0%), apple eaters had higher educational attainment, were more likely to be from a racial or ethnic minority, and were less likely to smoke (P < .001 for each comparison). Apple eaters were more likely, in the crude analysis, to keep the doctor (and prescription medications) away: 39.0% of apple eaters avoided physician visits vs 33.9% of non-apple eaters (P = .03). After adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related characteristics, however, the association was no longer statistically significant (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.93-1.53; P = .15). In the adjusted analysis, apple eaters also remained marginally more successful at avoiding prescription medications (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.00-1.63). There were no differences seen in overnight hospital stay or mental health visits. Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.
    JAMA Internal Medicine 03/2015; 175(5). DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5466 · 13.25 Impact Factor