Dietary intake of seaweed and minerals and prevalence of allergic rhinitis in Japanese pregnant females: baseline data from the Osaka Maternal and Child Health Study.
Ann Epidemiol. 2006 Aug;16(8):614-21. Epub 2006 Jan 10. PMID: 16406247
PURPOSE: It may be worthwhile to assess the possible protective effect of the traditional Japanese diet on allergic disorders. This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between dietary intake of seaweed, vegetables, fruit, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals and the prevalence of allergic rhinitis. METHODS: Study subjects were 1002 Japanese pregnant women. Allergic rhinitis (including cedar pollinosis) was defined as present if subjects had received drug treatment at some point during the previous 12 months. Information on dietary factors was collected by using a self-administered diet history questionnaire. RESULTS: Seaweed intake was associated independently with a decreased prevalence of allergic rhinitis. Significant inverse dose-response relationships were found between calcium and phosphorus intake and allergic rhinitis prevalence. There also was a tendency for an inverse association between magnesium consumption and allergic rhinitis. Additional adjustment for calcium or magnesium intake apparently did not influence the inverse association with seaweed consumption. Consumption of vegetables, fruit, vitamins C and E, fiber, and zinc showed no association with allergic rhinitis, whereas a significant positive relationship was observed between beta-carotene intake and allergic rhinitis. CONCLUSIONS: High dietary intake of seaweed, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus may be associated with a decreased prevalence of allergic rhinitis.