Relationship between diet and asthma in children and adolescents

Written by: Dr. Adalberto Pacheco Galván
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The Mediterranean diet may be important to avoid or decrease the frequency of allergies and asthma in the child. This statement is a hypothesis of the Murciano Institute of Sanitary Research , which has been awarded a study to study the frequency of asthma from the newborn to 7 years.

It is worth mentioning some comments from this project on the relationship between the onset of asthma in children and adolescents and diet , as well as genetics and environmental pollution.

For example, the relationship between the American diet (typical of meats, dairy products and acidic beverages) and the presence of reflux reaching the upper airway, laryngopharyngeal reflux , clinically detectable by chronic cough, hoarseness and frequent clearing have recently been confirmed.


It has also been discovered that pepsin, that gastric enzyme that digests proteins, can cause inflammation of the larynx, causing it to lose its sensitivity and allowing more episodes of microaspirations, a fact that facilitates asthma attacks. This occurs because, after an episode of airflow reflux, pepsin is taken up by the epithelial cells of the larynx, where it remains inactive. However, it is reactivated when either there is another acid reflux episode that reaches there or is contacted with acidic foods such as those mentioned (Phua SY, McGarvey L, Ngu M, Ing A: The differential effect of gastro-esophageal reflux disease on mechanostimulation and chemostimulation of the laryngo-pharynx. Chest 2010, 138: 1180-1185).

asthma It is also known that this inflamed larynx causes a laryngeal hyperreactivity , that is, a paradoxical closure of the glottis, in inspiration, which is accentuated with exercise and easily confused with an asthma crisis.

The incidence of laryngopharyngeal reflux, according to North American otolaryngologists, rose by 500% from 1976 to 2001 (Altman KW et al.. Changing impact of gastroesophageal reflux in medical and otolaryngology practice. Laryngoscope. 2005 Jul; 115 (7): 1145-53), according to many specialists, to the American legislation implemented in the 60's, made to combat botulism. It advised acid diets, so pre-cooked foods had to have a low pH and carbonated beverages did not undergo controls with their pH of 4 or less.


Reflux appears every time before

In my opinion, all data should be taken into account when the specialist in Pneumology is going to perform a study of the child or adolescent asthma because, apart from allergic factors, there may additionally or even combine synergistically an inflamed larynx, acid reflux product. This motivates a cohort of symptoms, including those typical of asthma: cough, laryngeal itching, tingling, inspiratory or expiratory dyspnea, blocked mucus sensation, etc.

One can not make the mistake of considering asthma as an exclusive disease of the lower airway (trachea and bronchi), but may have pathogenic connections with the larynx and esophagus through the reflux that reaches the airway.

In this way, the hypothesis of work on the protection of the Mediterranean diet on the appearance of asthma in the child and adolescent, under the theory of less acidification of the diet and, consequently, of a healthier larynx and competent.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Adalberto Pacheco Galván
Pulmonary Disease

Famous medical specialist pulmonologist asthma and chronic cough. Spanish doctor proposed only as a member to the Committee of Consensus for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Cough in the ERS (European Respiratory Society). He is the founder and head of the Unit for asthma and cough unwieldy Ramon y Cajal Hospital with more than 400 patients seen notarized.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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