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      Allergic diseases among children: nutritional prevention and intervention

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          Allergic diseases comprise a genetically heterogeneous group of chronic, immunomediated diseases. It has been clearly reported that the prevalence of these diseases has been on the rise for the last few decades, but at different rates, in various areas of the world. This paper discusses the epidemiology of allergic diseases among children and their negative impact on affected patients, their families, and societies. These effects include the adverse effects on quality of life and economic costs. Medical interest has shifted from tertiary or secondary prevention to primary prevention of these chronic diseases among high-risk infants in early life. Being simple, practical, and cost-effective are mandatory features for any candidate methods delivering these strategies. Dietary therapy fits this model well, as it is simple, practical, and cost-effective, and involves diverse methods. The highest priority strategy is feeding these infants breast milk. For those who are not breast-fed, there should be a strategy to maintain beneficial gut flora that positively influences intestinal immunity. We review the current use of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics, and safety and adverse effects. Other dietary modalities of possible potential in achieving this primary prevention, such as a Mediterranean diet, use of milk formula with modified (hydrolyzed) proteins, and the role of micronutrients, are also explored. Breast-feeding is effective in reducing the risk of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic eczema among children. In addition, breast milk constitutes a major source of support for gut microbe colonization, due to its bifidobacteria and galactooligosaccharide content. The literature lacks consensus in recommending the addition of probiotics to foods for prevention and treatment of allergic diseases, while prebiotics may prove to be effective in reducing atopy in healthy children. There is insufficient evidence to support soy formulas or amino acid formulas for prevention of allergic disease. A healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, may have a protective effect on the development of asthma and atopy in children. In children with asthma and allergic diseases, vitamin D deficiency correlates strongly with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and wheezing.

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          Most cited references 128

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          An immunomodulatory molecule of symbiotic bacteria directs maturation of the host immune system.

          The mammalian gastrointestinal tract harbors a complex ecosystem consisting of countless bacteria in homeostasis with the host immune system. Shaped by evolution, this partnership has potential for symbiotic benefit. However, the identities of bacterial molecules mediating symbiosis remain undefined. Here we show that, during colonization of animals with the ubiquitous gut microorganism Bacteroides fragilis, a bacterial polysaccharide (PSA) directs the cellular and physical maturation of the developing immune system. Comparison with germ-free animals reveals that the immunomodulatory activities of PSA during B. fragilis colonization include correcting systemic T cell deficiencies and T(H)1/T(H)2 imbalances and directing lymphoid organogenesis. A PSA mutant of B. fragilis does not restore these immunologic functions. PSA presented by intestinal dendritic cells activates CD4+ T cells and elicits appropriate cytokine production. These findings provide a molecular basis for host-bacterial symbiosis and reveal the archetypal molecule of commensal bacteria that mediates development of the host immune system.
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            Probiotics and prevention of atopic disease: 4-year follow-up of a randomised placebo-controlled trial.

            Perinatal administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (ATCC 53103), reduces incidence of atopic eczema in at-risk children during the first 2 years of life (infancy). We have therefore assessed persistence of the potential to prevent atopic eczema at 4 years. Atopic disease was diagnosed on the basis of a questionnaire and a clinical examination. 14 of 53 children receiving lactobacillus had developed atopic eczema, compared with 25 of 54 receiving placebo (relative risk 0.57, 95% CI 0.33-0.97). Skin prick test reactivity was the same in both groups: ten of 50 children previously given lactobacillus compared with nine of 50 given placebo tested positive. Our results suggest that the preventive effect of lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema extends beyond infancy.
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              The role of the intestinal microbiota in the development of atopic disorders.

              The prevalence of atopic diseases, including eczema, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma, has increased worldwide, predominantly in westernized countries. Recent epidemiological studies and experimental research suggest that microbial stimulation of the immune system influences the development of tolerance to innocuous allergens. The gastrointestinal microbiota composition may be of particular interest, as it provides an early and major source of immune stimulation and seems to be a prerequisite for the development of oral tolerance. In this review the observational studies of the association between the gut microbiota and atopic diseases are discussed. Although most studies indicated an association between the gut microbiota composition and atopic sensitization or symptoms, no specific harmful or protective microbes can be identified yet. Some important methodological issues that have to be considered are the microbiological methods used (traditional culture vs molecular techniques), the timing of examining the gut microbiota, the definition of atopic outcomes, confounding and reverse causation. In conclusion, the microbiota hypothesis in atopic diseases is promising and deserves further attention. To gain more insight into the role of the gut microbiota in the etiology of atopy, large-scale prospective birth cohort studies using molecular methods to study the gut microbiota are needed.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                07 March 2016
                : 12
                : 361-372
                [1 ]Department of Pediatrics, Section of Academic General Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
                [2 ]Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar
                [3 ]School of Pharmacy, Lebanese International University, Khiara, Lebanona
                [4 ]Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Allergy-Immunology, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Mohamed A Hendaus, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Academic General Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, PO Box 3050, Doha, Qatar, Tel +974 4439 2239, Fax +974 4443 9571, Email mhendaus@ 123456yahoo.com
                © 2016 Hendaus et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.



                synbiotics, allergic, children, prebiotics, primary, probiotics, prevention


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