Can meat in
diet increase the chances of suffering from allergies like rhinoconjunctivitis
in pregnant women
? A study from Japan suggests that the answer is probably 'yes'.
Rhinoconjunctivitis is an allergic reaction which is
characterized by the presence of 'rhinitis' and 'conjunctivitis'. Allergic
rhinitis or inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose results in symptoms
of stuffy and runny nose. Allergic conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the
membrane lining the eye, results in itching and watering of the eyes.
An allergy can be caused by nearly anything and
everything under the sun, including the sun. Food also causes allergy. Common
causes of food allergy are milk and eggs. Some studies have suggested that a
high fat intake could predispose to allergic reactions.
A recently published study examined if the type of
food eaten is associated with rhinoconjunctivitis in Japanese pregnant women.
The study was conducted on 1745 pregnant women between the fifth and
thirty-ninth week of pregnancy.
Each participant had to fill in a questionnaire
regarding their diet intake over the previous month. They also had to report
their body weight and height for the calculation of body mass index.
The participants filled in details regarding any
episode of rhinoconjunctivitis in the past one year. Rhinitis was said to be
present if the participants suffered from sneezing or a runny or blocked nose
when they did not suffer from a cold or flu. The participants also had to
report if the episode was accompanied with itchy or watery eyes.
was as common as nearly 26% in the study population. It was more common in
women who had a high intake of meat. However, the researchers were unable to
demonstrate any association with fat intake. This is in contrast to some of the
previously published studies.
Meat intake had also been associated with other
allergic conditions in the past like eczema. How meat can lead to allergies is
not clear. The study also has a number of methodological limitations, which
could have interfered with the final results.
study indicates that meat intake in pregnant women could be associated with
rhinoconjunctivitis. Further studies are necessary to check if these results could be
applied to the general population.
1. Yoshihiro Miyake et al. Dietary meat and fat intake and prevalence of
rhinoconjunctivitis in pregnant Japanese women: baseline data from the Kyushu
Okinawa Maternal and Child Health Study. Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:19