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Reducing Hay Fever With Food ~ [Issue 1105-1]  Wellness Weekly
 Nov 04, 2005 07:35 PST 


Getting a healthy dose of certain antioxidants and fatty acids from
oils, fruits, and vegetables can reduce your risk of developing
seasonal bouts of hay fever, a recent study findings suggest. Fatty
acids and antioxidants have been linked to a number of health
benefits, including keeping the heart healthy and preventing cell
damage. While these latest findings suggest some fatty acids and
antioxidants may also reduce the risk of developing the seasonal
allergies, the study also showed that other fatty acids and
antioxidants appeared to increase that risk.

These findings simply represent "food for thought," Dr. Pramod Kelkar
of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Allergy and
Asthma Care of Indiana in Indianapolis said. "We cannot make a
blanket recommendation for the population to change its diet," he added.

Fatty acids are present in fish oils and vegetable oils, while
antioxidants are often found in fortified foods, fruits, and
vegetables. Researchers found that eating large amounts of the
omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) appeared to reduce the
risk of hay fever. However, people who consumed the most oleic acid,
the predominant type of fatty acid in olive oil, were almost three
times as likely to have hay fever as those with the lowest intake of
oleic acid.

Similarly, a diet rich in the antioxidant vitamin E appeared to
protect people against hay fever, while a high intake of
beta-carotene, also an antioxidant, seemed to increase the risk. The
influence of antioxidants on hay fever risk was most apparent among
women and former or current smokers, the researchers report in the
journal "Allergy."
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