FCAAIA Notes: About 4 years ago, I posted an abstract indicating that giving infant’s fish oil did not decrease their incidence of allergic disease (“Fish Oil Does Not Prevent Early Allergies in Infants). In this study, the children of women who took either fish oil or placebo during the second half of pregnancy did not ultimately show any difference in their rates of allergic disease. Children whose mothers took fish oil were less likely to have a positive skin test to dust mites but did not have less allergic disease.
Here’s an important point however: The thymus gland which is essential for the development of white blood cells called T cells and the development of “tolerance” (not having allergy) forms early in gestation and is already formed by 20 weeks. To really answer the question the authors asked, I would like to see this study repeated with fish oil supplements being started as soon as the woman is known to be pregnant. Continue reading “PRENATAL FISH OIL DOES NOT REDUCE IGE-ASSOCIATED ALLERGIES IN CHILDREN”
FCAAIA Notes: The best data on probiotics and allergic disease probably apply to atopic dermatitis and food allergy in infancy. Unfortunately, while there are some studies indicating some benefits, none have been so conclusive that it is a recommendation we routinely make. Some good news is that probiotics and prebiotics are unlikely to be harmful to mother, fetus, or infant (as far as we know!). Furthermore, not all studies use the same probiotics, so we cannot recommend a particular species.
I think the data on probiotic use to prevent allergic disease is nicely summarized by the authors and appears at the end of this article: “If probiotics are used in infants, Continue reading “GUIDELINES DESCRIBE USE OF PROBIOTICS IN PREVENTING ALLERGIC DISEASES”
FCAAIA Notes: “Hypoallergenic.” What does it mean? As shown in this article, not much. The Food and Drug Administration has never defined it, so any company may use it in any manner it chooses. Therefore, it appears the label often applied to products primarily in order to sell them. Many such products contain ingredients that cause contact dermatitis or other contact rashes. If you react to any topical products, it is important to consider all of its components. Sometimes, patch testing by a dermatologist is necessary to identify the specific culprit.
(Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/835355?nlid=71467_281&src=wnl_edit_medp_aimm&uac=112079PK&spon=38 November 24, 2014. For Medscape articles: User name: FCAAIA, Password: Allergies)
Products for kids with itchy skin that are labeled hypoallergenic often contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions Continue reading “‘HYPOALLERGENIC’ LABELS MAY NOT BE ACCURATE”
FCAAIA Notes: There is so much research regarding the safety of asthma medications and the risks of poorly controlled asthma that it never fails to amaze me that some patients are still more afraid of the treatment than the disease. Similarly, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of most alternative therapies. Those that have been proven more effective than placebo have not been proven more effective than FDA approved medications.
Inhaled corticosteroids are the preventative treatment of choice for persistent asthma (defined in part as having asthma symptoms more than twice per week or middle of the night symptoms more than twice per month). This doesn’t mean that other preventive options aren’t available. Don’t suffer from your asthma! Come see us for safe and effective control of your disease…you won’t regret feeling better!
(Source: http://www.healio.com/allergy-immunology/asthma-lower-airway-diseases/news/online/%7B92dd21e1-4364-4d04-ba48-5182e3ea9374%7D/uncontrolled-asthma-linked-with-negative-ics-beliefs-in-urban-cohort September 25, 2014. Adapted from J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2014.07.044.)
Uncontrolled asthma was associated with negative beliefs about inhaled corticosteroids and support for complementary and alternative medicines primarily among urban minority adults, according to recent study results. Continue reading “UNCONTROLLED ASTHMA LINKED WITH NEGATIVE ICS BELIEFS IN URBAN COHORT”