Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of wheezing and asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Nutr Rev. 2014 Jul;72(7):411-28. doi: 10.1111/nure.12121. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Major bibliographic databases were searched for studies examining the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of wheezing and asthma. Random-effects models were used to pool study results. Subgroup analyses were conducted by fruit and vegetable categories, study design, and age group. Twelve cohorts, 4 population-based case-control studies, and 26 cross-sectional studies published between January 1990 and July 2013 were identified. For the meta-analysis of adults and children, the relative risk (RR) and confidence intervals (CI) when comparing the highest intake group with the lowest intake group were 0.78 (95%CI, 0.70-0.87) for fruit and 0.86 (95%CI, 0.75-0.98) for vegetables. High intake of fruit and vegetables (RR = 0.76; 95%CI, 0.68-0.86 and RR = 0.83; 95%CI, 0.72-0.96) reduced the risk of childhood wheezing. Total intake of fruit and vegetables had a negative association with risk of asthma in adults and children (RR = 0.54; 95%CI, 0.41-0.69). Consuming fruit and vegetables during pregnancy had no association with the risk of asthma in offspring. High intake of fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of asthma and wheezing in adults and children.

Keywords: asthma; fruit; vegetables; wheezing.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diet therapy*
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet* / standards
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diet therapy
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*