Vitamins, prebiotics during pregnancy: is it useful for preventing allergies in children ?

Vitamins, prebiotics during pregnancy: is it useful for preventing allergies in children ?

Vitamins, prebiotics during pregnancy: useful for preventing allergies in children ?

Allergies affect 30 to 40% of the world's population and probably 50% by 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These multifactorial diseases are linked to dysfunctions of three major biological actors – the microbiota, the mucous membranes and the immune system – leading to a failure in the establishment of immune tolerance.

These major systems are put in place during the first 1000 days of life, that is to say from conception to the child's two years of age. The environment, including the mother's diet, plays a major role in their maturation, thus influencing the appearance or prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases such as allergies. Nutritional interventions during pregnancy are therefore explored by many researchers.

Numerous associations between nutrients, diet and reduction of allergies

"Data from population-based (observational) studies have suggested that certain nutrients, foods and diets are likely associated with a reduction in the occurrence of allergies", summarizes Dr. Marie Bodinier, research director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research (Nantes). For example, vitamin A has been implicated in reducing allergic rhinitis, vitamin D in eczema, etc. Foods containing dairy products and probiotics are associated with a reduction in eczema and allergic rhinitis, the Mediterranean diet with a reduction in asthma, wheezing and allergic sensitization and, finally, the consumption of fruits and vegetables has been linked to a reduced occurrence of asthma and eczema.

Nutritional interventions during pregnancy: failure

But as in terms of scientific evidence only randomized and controlled trials count, several of this type have been conducted or are underway in pregnant women, particularly with intakes of omega-3 acids and vitamins. C, E and D and probiotics. However, the results remain very disappointing at this stage with regard to all allergic manifestations.

The researchers do not intend to rely on these results. Marie Bodinier presented the results of PREGRALL at the 19th French-speaking Allergology Congress in Paris last April, the first study evaluating the effect of prebiotic supplementation (galacto-oligosaccharides and inulin) during pregnancy (from 20 weeks of amenorrhea until delivery) with the aim of preventing atopic dermatitis in children at the age of one year.

376 pregnant women, all allergic, were therefore recruited in four French hospital centers. In the end, "if prebiotic supplementation did not prevent the onset of atopic dermatitis in children at one year old, recognizes the researcher, this modulated the composition of the intestinal microbiota and the mother's immunity, with effects transmitted to the child at the beginning of life." This strategy could thus produce a longer-term effect on the prevention of other atopic diseases.

To date, no supplementation or diet to reduce allergic risk

Research continues, in particular because one question remains unanswered: the disappointing results obtained so far could be due to the absence of a standardized approach to supplementation, doses, duration and targeted diseases.

As you will have understood, for the moment, there is no question of supplementing with the aim of preventing an allergic manifestation in your future child!

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