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Allergy. 1989 Nov;44(8):588-94.

Food and food additives in severe atopic dermatitis.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, University of Antwerp, Belgium.


In this study the role of food additives, tyramine and acetylsalicylic acid, was investigated by double-blind placebo-controlled challenges (DBPCC) in 25 children with severe atopic dermatitis (AD). All children challenged with foods (n = 24), except one, showed one or more positive reactions to the DBPCC with foods. Positive reactions presented as different combinations of flares of skin symptoms, intestinal symptoms and respiratory symptoms. Seventeen children (70.8%) showed a positive challenge to egg, 12 to wheat (50%), eight to milk (33.3%) and eight to soya (33.3%). Six children underwent DBPCC with food additives, tyramine and acetylsalicylic acid. All were found to demonstrate positive skin and/or intestinal reactions to at least one of the food additives. Two children reacted to tartrazine, three to sodium benzoate, two to sodium glutamate, two to sodium metabisulfite, four to acetylsalicylic acid and one to tyramine. It is concluded that some foods, food additives, tyramine and acetylsalicylic acid, can cause positive DBPCC in children with severe AD.

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