Antioxidant nutrient intakes and corresponding biomarkers associated with the risk of atopic dermatitis in young children

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;64(3):245-52. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.148. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


Background/objectives: To investigate the association of antioxidant nutritional status with the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) in young children in a case-control, population-based study.

Subjects/methods: Identified from preschools by using the Korean version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Final analysis included 180 AD (mean age 5.3+/-0.9 years) and 242 non-AD (mean age 5.2+/-1.0 years) children. Diet was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Fasting blood samples were used for analyses of fat-soluble vitamins (retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and beta-carotene) and vitamin C.

Results: AD was associated negatively with intakes of antioxidant-related nutrients. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were 0.44 (0.22-0.88) for the highest (vs lowest) quintile of beta-carotene. A similar association was observed for dietary vitamin E (OR=0.33, 95% CI=0.16-0.67), folic acid (OR=0.37, 95% CI=0.18-0.73), and iron (OR=0.39, 95% CI=0.19-0.79). Reduced AD risk was found with 1 s.d. increase of serum alpha-tocopherol [OR=0.64, 95% CI=0.41-0.98) and retinol (OR=0.74, 95% CI=0.58-0.96) concentrations, and marginally with that of serum beta-carotene levels (P=0.0749 for trend). There was no relationship of AD risk with dietary and plasma vitamin C as well as nutrient supplement intake regardless of nutrient type. AD was predicted better by the intake measure than the corresponding blood biomarker regarding vitamin E and beta-carotene.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that higher antioxidant nutritional status reduces the risk of AD and that such risk-reduction effects depend on nutrient type.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • alpha-Tocopherol / administration & dosage
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • alpha-Tocopherol
  • Ascorbic Acid