July 11, 2011

Asthma and allergies affect many of us and can be quite debilitating. Athletes especially know the pain in the chest and the constant hacking cough when asthma symptoms flair. This issue centers on prevention and treatment through food and bacteria.

In the Journal Allergy Clinical Immunology March 2011, Dr. Nurmatov and others discussed the effects of nutrients and food on allergy and asthma symptoms. In the review of the available literature they concluded that the available epidemiological evidence is supportive of vitamins A, E, C, zinc, fruits and vegetables and the mediterranean diet in the prevention of asthma. In JACI May 2011, Dr. Rosenlund and others showed that there is an inverse relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and allergies.

Why would this be so? The data points to critical functions of these nutrients in biological actions that govern cell signaling and immunity.

The immune system is a complex yet simple device for our body to know right from wrong. In other words it helps us discern food from bacteria or chemical and so on.

When it is functional, it kills pathogenic bacteria and virus while leaving food and aero-allergens like dust alone. When it is not working well, it overreacts to a food or dust thinking that it is harmful and begins to attack it. The end result is sneezing, wheezing, eczema, reflux and so on.

I am going to trivialize this some. We need to supply this system with all of its requisite factors in order for it to function properly. The available evidence is multifactorial but heavily leans toward pregnant women eating a healthy diet and not over cleaning their environment. Chemicals equal trouble while normal bacteria and dirt equal normalcy.

Let children get dirty, drink breast milk, eat all natural food and avoid chemical exposure. Then we may see a reversal in the alarming trend of allergic disease prevalence.

For information on allergies and asthma click here.

My take home point today: Think naturally and reduce allergy

Live well and get dirty,

Dr. Magryta