Allergy News

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Vegetables and oily fish may protect children from allergies and asthma


A new study following children's diets as they grow up has found that vegetables and oily fish give protection against the development of asthma.

The study is published in the Journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and was carried out by researchers at University of Crete in Heraklion, Greece.

The researchers followed 460 children for the first six and half years of their lives, monitoring their diets and recording the development of allergies. The information was gathered by periodic interviews with the children's parents.

The main findings from the study showed that allergies were less common in children who ate the most fish. In addition, asthma rates were reduced in kids who consumed a lot of vegetables, most notably tomatoes, eggplants and green beans.

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Household cleaning sprays linked to asthma


A new study shows that chemical sprays used for cleaning in the majority of homes may cause up to 15% of new cases of asthma in adults.

Most people are now aware of a link between urban air pollution and allergic respiratory conditions such as asthma, but new research suggesting domestic cleaning products are also a major trigger may surprise many.

The study, which is published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, suggests that the use of cleaning sprays and air fresheners may account for up to one in seven, or 15%, of new asthma cases in adults. The study found no link between asthma and domestic cleaning products that are not sprayed.

The conclusions of the study are based on a review of data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, one of the largest epidemiologic studies of respiratory disease in the world.

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Breastfeeding may increase allergy risk if mother has allergies


New research suggests that breast is not always best and may increase a child's risk of developing allergies - if mother has family history of allergic conditions.

In many countries it is currently recommended that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. This is thought to have many health benefits but probably the most touted of these is a reduced risk of allergies later in life. Recent Australian research now seems to complicate the issue.

A research team from the University of Melbourne carried out a longitudinal study on 8,500 people. A longitudinal study is one in which the participants are followed over a period of time to determine for instance if a disease develops, in this case allergies.

What the team found was that although the current thinking is correct up to a point, it is not necessarily true when a mother has allergies herself, or a family history of allergies. In this case breastfeeding may not help protect against allergies later in life and may even increase the risk of their development slightly.

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Report says allergies are on the rise and asks how they can be combated


A report released yesterday suggests that the UK is in the grip of an allergy epidemic and is failing to manage the situation.

The report comes from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee and states that the numbers affected by allergies have trebled over the past 20 years. It goes on to say that a third of the population, that's 18 million people, will develop an allergy with the symptoms ranging from trivial to life-threatening. These figures put the UK incidence amongst the highest in the world, a situation made worse by the fact that the UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe in tackling the problem.

Official figures show just how much of a problem allergies have become. The number of people having visit a hospital as a result of anaphylactic shock, the most severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, rose by 700% from 1990 to 2004. In 2004 more than 30,000 people suffered a life-threatening attack. Of this number, half were treated in accident and emergency departments and 3,171 were admitted to hospital.

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Studies Show Beneficial Effects of Probiotic Bacteria on Allergy Symptoms



Two studies indicate that oral supplementation with live probiotic bacteria can relieve the symptoms of allergic asthma and the allergic skin condition eczema.


These two separate studies provide more evidence that probiotic bacteria, so called "friendly bacteria", are essential for good health, especially where the immune system is concerned.


Ever since scientists begun the serious study of the micro-organisms that inhabit our intestines a couple of decades ago, the evidence has been stacking up that these bugs are as much a part of a healthy human immune system as our immune cells themselves. It's thought that probiotic bacteria provide benefits to their human host in a number of different ways. They produce chemicals that stimulate our immune systems, and they help guard against infection by less friendly bugs, for example.

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