Does Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet Have a Protective Effect against Asthma and Allergies in Children? A Systematic Review

Nutrients. 2022 Apr 13;14(8):1618. doi: 10.3390/nu14081618.


Dietary pattern may potentially impact on the pathogenesis of asthma and allergies. The Mediterranean Diet (MD) has significant health benefits due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the effectiveness of adherence to the MD against asthma and allergies in childhood. Hence, a systematic literature search was conducted on PubMed, ESBCO (Cinahl), Scopus, and the Cochrane Library databases up to 26 January 2022. The total number of articles obtained, after the initial search on the databases was conducted, was 301. Twelve studies were included, after the removal of duplicates and screening for eligibility. Our findings indicated a protective role of the MD against childhood asthma, but they also imply that the MD probably does not affect the development of allergies. Nevertheless, the heterogeneity and limitations of the studies highlight the need for randomized controlled trials that will focus on the pediatric population and hopefully provide more robust evidence.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; allergies; asthma; child.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Asthma* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity* / prevention & control