The link between food intolerance and eczema.
Here is a summary of the researched links between food and eczema.
Common food allergy culprits.
Hanifin (4) found that for eczema sufferers the most common food culprits were eggs, milk, peanuts, seafood, wheat and soya.Burks et al (2) evaluated 46 patients with atopic dermatitis for food hypersensitivity. Sixty one per cent had a reaction to one of the foods tested. Egg, milk and peanut were the most common culprits. A further study by Burks et al (3), of 165 patients found that 60 per cent had at least one positive prick skin test. Milk, eggs, peanut, soya, wheat, cod/catfish and cashew accounted for eighty nine per cent of the positive challenges.
Children with eczema.
Sloper et al (7), examined the role of foods in the exacerbation of atopic eczema in children. The children’s eczema improved in 49 of 66 (74%) cases after eliminating cows’ milk, eggs and various other foods.
Soutter et al (8), found that in 68 children with eczema, 79% had food allergies before the age of 10 months and 23% at 7 years of age. In a separate study of people with eczema, food chemical intolerance reactions were shown to irritate the rash in 47%.
Van Bever et al (9) in a study of 25 children with severe atopic dermatitis found the condition linked to reactions to eggs, wheat, milk, soya, and various additives including tartrazine, sodium benzoate, sodium glutamate and sodium metabisulphite. They concluded that some foods, food additives, tyramine and acetylsalicylic acid, can cause positive double-blind placebo-controlled challenges in children with severe atopic dermatitis. Sampson and McCaskill (6) studied 113 children with severe atopic dermatitis. Fifty six per cent responded positively. Once again, egg, milk and peanut were the most common culprits.
Veien et al (10), carried out a randomised, placebo-controlled oral challenge with food additives (preservatives and food colourings) on 101 individuals with eczema of undetermined origin but who suspected that the intake of certain foods aggravated their dermatitis. Thirty seven reacted to one or more of the food additives but not to a placebo. A further study by the same team (11), found improvement in the dermatitis of 262 of 675 patients who followed a restrictive diet for approximately one month. Sensitivities included metal salts, balsams, classic food allergens and food additives. A follow-up study was carried out 1-3 years later, showed that 144 ( 206 responded to the questionnaire) there was long-term improvement in their dermatitis.
Hoffman (5) et al found that 48% of those studied with eczema tested positive for an allergy to the milk protein a-lactatalbumin.
Source: Sharla Race author of the E-book ‘Change your diet and change your life’. www.foodcanmakeyouill.co.uk
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(10) Veien NK, Hattel T, Justesen O, Norholm A. Oral challenge with food additives. Contact Dermatitis 1987 Aug; 17(2):100-3