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Whole grains and fish protect against asthma

Children who eat goodly amounts of whole grain products and fish seem to have a reduced risk of developing asthma.

Whole grains and fish protect against asthma

Children who eat goodly amounts of whole grain products and fish seem to have a reduced risk of developing asthma. The rise in the prevalence of asthma may be related to changed dietary habits. Previous studies of children have shown that asthma is less likely with increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grain products, and fish. Researchers from the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Netherlands, examined the intake of these foods in relation to asthma in 598 children between the ages of 8 and 13 years. Parents completed food questionnaires, which were used to estimate the kids' dietary intakes. Wheezing and asthma were also determined with questionnaires, as well as from medical tests. No clear associations were observed between asthma or wheezing and intake of citrus fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, but there was a link with consumption of fish and whole grain products. It was found that the crude prevalence of current wheeze was observed to be 19% in children with a low intake of both foods compared with 4% in children with a high intake of both foods. For current asthma the crude prevalences were 17% and 3%, respectively. After adjustments, whole grains and fish were linked to a reduction of 54 percent and 66 percent, respectively, in the likelihood of having asthma, and similar reductions of 45 percent and 56 percent for wheezing. The researchers recommend forward-looking studies to further clarify the relationship between dietary factors and asthma, and the possible effects of diet modifications.
Thorax,
December 2006
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