Purpose: The prevalence of allergic diseases has risen over the last few decades. Many factors, including environmental factors such as those related to diet, have been considered. Among dietary factors, intake of antioxidant-related nutrients has been associated with the risk of allergic disease. We investigated the association of antioxidant nutritional status with allergic rhinitis (AR) in Korean schoolchildren aged 6-12 years.
Methods: Subjects were 4,554 children in Seoul, Korea. The risk of allergic disease was measured using the Korean version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, and dietary intake was measured by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Intake of vitamins A (including retinol and β-carotene), C, and E was used in the analysis.
Results: Vitamin C intake was negatively associated with an increased risk of current symptoms (adjusted odds ratio, 0.886; 95% confidence interval, 0.806-0.973). There was no association between AR and intake of vitamin A, retinol, β-carotene, or vitamin E. Total serum IgE level and sensitization to allergen did not differ according to nutrient intake.
Conclusions: The group of children with increased vitamin C consumption had fewer AR symptoms, despite the lack of a difference in total serum IgE level or allergen sensitization. These findings suggest that nutrient intake, especially that of vitamin C, influences AR symptoms.
Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; antioxidant; vitamin C.