Epidemiologic studies suggest that deficiencies of the nutrients selenium; zinc; vitamins A, C, D, and E; and low fruit and vegetable intake may be associated with the development of asthma and allergic disorders.
This meta-analysis included 62 study reports. There were no randomized controlled trials among them.
Serum vitamin A was lower in children with asthma compared with controls (odds ratio [OR], 0.25).
High maternal dietary vitamin D and E intakes during pregnancy were protective for the development of wheezing outcomes (OR, 0.56, and OR, 0.68, respectively).
Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was protective for persistent wheeze (OR, 0.22) and atopy (OR, 0.55).
Most fruit and vegetable studies reported beneficial associations with asthma and allergic outcomes.
The available epidemiologic evidence is weak but nonetheless supportive with respect to vitamins A, D, and E; zinc; fruits and vegetables; and a Mediterranean diet for the prevention of asthma. Experimental studies of these exposures are now warranted.
Nutrients and foods for the primary prevention of asthma and allergy: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Nurmatov U, Devereux G, Sheikh A. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Dec 23.