Recent medical opinion is now suggesting that there is a causal link between our diet and the rise of asthma in Western countries. Changes in Western diet in the last fifty years, such as reduction in amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, have caused researchers to look at gut fermentation as a possible link to allergies. They believe that because dietary fibers (in food) are fermented in the stomach and then turn into fatty acids which is absorbed by the bloodstream, this can affect the immune system causing allergic reactions that can extend to the lungs.
Researchers in Lausanne University Hospital have found that ‘mice that have a low-fibre diet developed a stronger allergic reaction with much more mucus in the lungs than the mice with the standard diet.’
According to this research allergic asthma may be a result of our poor modern diets, however, it is not at all clear. But how does this help children who suffer from allergic asthma?
Medical experts and GPs will tell you that there is no special ‘asthma diet’ but there are ways to help children stay at optimal health through a nutrient rich and balanced diet. This may also help those who suffer from food allergies that may worsen (in rare cases) a child’s asthma.
Additives, sugars, sulphites, dairy and high calorie processed food are all part of our modern diet. Dependency on this food can have a negative effect on our health and potentially exasperate allergies and asthma. A diet filled with fruit and vegetables along with a healthy active lifestyle will naturally support children’s immune system and so help prevent diseases like cold & flu that may trigger asthma.
For more on diet and health in children, please see our nutrition section.
If you believe your child has a food allergy please contact your GP for advice.
For coping and support please see asthma.ie.