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Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Nov;6(11):869-74. doi: 10.1038/nri1958.

The increase in the prevalence of asthma and allergy: food for thought.

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZB, UK.


Since about 1960, the prevalence of asthma and allergic disease has increased sufficiently to become a major public-health concern. Concurrently, there have been marked changes in our diet, and it has been proposed that these changes have contributed to the increase in the prevalence of asthma and allergy. In this article, these hypotheses about diet are described, together with the postulated mechanisms and the evidence for and against, leading to the most recent evidence indicating that maternal diet during pregnancy might be particularly important in the development of childhood asthma.

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