The prevalence of allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, food allergy, and atopic dermatitis has increased dramatically during the last decades, which is associated with altered environmental exposures and lifestyle practices. The purpose of this review was to highlight the potential role for dietary fatty acids, in the prevention and management of these disorders. In addition to their nutritive value, fatty acids have important immunoregulatory effects. Fatty acid-associated biological mechanisms, human epidemiology, and intervention studies are summarized in this review. The influence of genetics and the microbiome on fatty acid metabolism is also discussed. Despite critical gaps in our current knowledge, it is increasingly apparent that dietary intake of fatty acids may influence the development of inflammatory and tolerogenic immune responses. However, the lack of standardized formats (ie, food versus supplement) and standardized doses, and frequently a lack of prestudy serum fatty acid level assessments in clinical studies significantly limit our ability to compare allergy outcomes across studies and to provide clear recommendations at this time. Future studies must address these limitations and individualized medical approaches should consider the inclusion of specific dietary factors for the prevention and management of asthma, food allergy, and atopic dermatitis.
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Lydia Becker Institute
- Manchester Institute of Biotechnology