The quality of dietary fat is associated with the risk of hay fever and allergic sensitisation, but not atopic eczema and bronchial hyperreactivity.
The associations were most pronounced for increased intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and oleic acids in relationship with hay fever and allergic sensitization in women.
Data on respiratory health derived from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey was used in this study, in combination with an additional dietary survey performed in Erfurt. A population-based sample of nearly 800 subjects aged 20-64 years from Erfurt as one of the two German centres was analysed.
This German study was performed by a multidisciplinary group of researchers, led by Joachim Heinrich, from the National Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF) located in Oberschleissheim, in collaboration with Universities in Munich (LMU) and Jena (FSU) as well as with the University of Applied Sciences Albstadt-Sigmaringen.
The results show that apart from allergenic food and the exposure to aeroallergens also non-allergenic dietary factors might be involved in the development of hay fever and allergic sensitization.