Vitamins A, D, E, zinc, fruits, vegetables, and Mediterranean diet may prevent asthma

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 reports. However, there were no randomized controlled trials.

Serum vitamin A was lower in children with asthma (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).

Mediterranean diet was protective for persistent wheeze (OR, 0.22) and atopy (OR, 0.55).

In general, most fruit and vegetable studies reported beneficial associations with asthma and allergic outcomes.

A 2012 review did not show a Significant Influence of Mediterranean Diet on Asthma Symptoms

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.

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