BACKGROUND: The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have issued a new directive on information on the label about the ingredients present in foodstuffs. Twelve foods causing hypersensitivity are now subject to particularly strict labelling rules. Among these foods is mustard, which until now has been little recognised as a food allergen in Norway. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Literature searches in Medline were performed and supplemented by manual searches of reference lists. RESULTS: Since the first published case of mustard allergy in 1980, a number of case reports and patient series have been published. Most reports come from certain regions of France, and a majority of the studies have been performed by a limited number of investigators. Symptoms triggered by mustard cover the whole range from full-blown systemic anaphylactic reactions to pollen-food allergy syndrome-like local reactions. Frequently, reactions appear to be serious. Mustard allergy has on many instances been found in small children. Cross-reactivity apart from that among different types of mustard does not appear to be a clinical problem. Mustard allergens are resistant to heat and food processing. INTERPRETATION: With more attention being given to mustard as a food allergen because of the new labelling rules, it will most likely soon become apparent whether mustard is a food allergen of importance in Norway. The Norwegian national reporting system and register of severe allergic reactions to food will be an important tool in this context.
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are suggested to have immunosuppressive effects; exposure in utero and in the first years of life is of special concern as fetuses and small children are highly vulnerable to toxicant exposure. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of pre-natal exposure to PFAS on responses to pediatric vaccines and immune-related health outcomes in children up to 3 years of age. In the prospective birth-cohort BraMat, a sub-cohort of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), pregnant women from Oslo and Akershus, Norway, were recruited during 2007-2008. Three annual questionnaire-based follow-ups were performed. Blood samples were collected from the mothers at the time of delivery and from the children at the age of 3 years. As a measure of pre-natal exposure to PFAS, the concentrations of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorononanoate (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were determined in maternal blood from 99 BraMat participants. Main outcome measures were anti-vaccine antibody levels, common infectious diseases and allergy- and asthma-related health outcomes in the children up to the age of 3 years. There was an inverse association between the level of anti-rubella antibodies in the children's serum at age 3 years and the concentrations of the four PFAS. Furthermore, there was a positive association between the maternal concentrations of PFOA and PFNA and the number of episodes of common cold for the children, and between PFOA and PFHxS and the number of episodes of gastroenteritis. No associations were found between maternal PFAS concentrations and the allergy- and asthma-related health outcomes investigated. The results indicate that pre-natal exposure to PFAS may be associated with immunosuppression in early childhood.
We investigated whether prenatal exposure from the maternal diet to the toxicants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins is associated with the development of immune-related diseases in childhood. Children participating in BraMat, a sub-cohort of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), were followed in the three first years of life using annual questionnaires (0-3years; n=162, 2-3years; n=180), and blood parameters were examined at three years of age (n=114). The maternal intake of the toxicants was calculated using a validated food frequency questionnaire from MoBa. Maternal exposure to PCBs and dioxins was found to be associated with an increased risk of wheeze and more frequent upper respiratory tract infections. Furthermore, maternal exposure to PCBs and dioxins was found to be associated with reduced antibody response to a measles vaccine. No associations were found between prenatal exposure and immunophenotype data, allergic sensitization and vaccine-induced antibody responses other than measles. Our results suggest that prenatal dietary exposure to PCBs and dioxins may increase the risk of wheeze and the susceptibility to infectious diseases in early childhood.
The birth cohort BraMat (n = 205; a sub-cohort of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health) was established to study whether prenatal exposure to toxicants from the maternal diet affects immunological health outcomes in children. We here report on the environmental pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, as well as acrylamide generated in food during heat treatment. The frequency of common infections, eczema or itchiness, and periods of more than 10 days of dry cough, chest tightness or wheeze (called wheeze) in the children during the first year of life was assessed by questionnaire data (n = 195). Prenatal dietary exposure to the toxicants was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire from MoBa. Prenatal exposure to PCBs and dioxins was found to be associated with increased risk of wheeze and exanthema subitum, and also with increased frequency of upper respiratory tract infections. We found no associations between prenatal exposure to acrylamide and the health outcomes investigated. Our results suggest that prenatal dietary exposure to dioxins and PCBs may increase the risk of wheeze and infectious diseases during the first year of life.
The Norwegian Food Allergy Register was established at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in 2000. The purpose of the register is to gain information about severe allergic reactions to food in Norway and to survey food products in relation to allergen labelling and contamination. Cases are reported on a voluntary basis by first line doctors, and submitted together with a serum sample for specific IgE analysis. The register has received a total of 877 reports from 1 July, 2000 to 31 December, 2010. Two age groups, small children and young adults are over-represented, and the overall gender distribution is 40:60 males-females. The legumes lupine and fenugreek have been identified as two "new" allergens in processed foods and cases of contamination and faults in production of processed foods have been revealed. The highest frequency of food specific IgE is to hazelnuts and peanuts, with a marked increase in reactions to hazelnuts during the last three years. The Food Allergy Register has improved our knowledge about causes and severity of food allergic reactions in Norway. The results show the usefulness of population based national food allergy registers in providing information for health authorities and to secure safe food for individuals with food allergies.
High-molecular-weight phthalates in indoor dust have been associated with asthma in children, but few studies have evaluated phthalate biomarkers in association with respiratory outcomes.
We explored the association between urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites and current asthma.
In a cross-sectional analysis, 11 metabolites of 8 phthalates [including four metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate] were measured in one first morning void collected from 2001 through 2004 from 623 10-year-old Norwegian children. Logistic regression models controlling for urine specific gravity, sex, parental asthma, and income were used to estimate associations between current asthma and phthalate metabolite concentrations by quartiles or as log10-transformed variables.
Current asthma was associated with both mono(carboxyoctyl) phthalate (MCOP) and mono(carboxynonyl) phthalate (MCNP), although the association was limited to those in the highest quartile of these chemicals. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for current asthma was 1.9 (95% CI: 1.0, 3.3) for the highest MCOP quartile compared with the lowest quartile, and 1.3 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.7) for an interquartile-range increase. The aOR for current asthma was 2.2 (95% CI: 1.2, 4.0) for the highest MCNP quartile and 1.3 (95% CI: 1.0, 1.7) for an interquartile-range increase. The other phthalate metabolites were not associated with current asthma.
Current asthma was associated with the highest quartiles of MCOP and MCNP, metabolites of two high molecular weight phthalates, diisononyl phthalate and diisodecyl phthalate, respectively. Given the short biological half-life of the phthalates and the cross-sectional design, our findings should be interpreted cautiously.
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Dec;118(12):1748-5420797930
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Jan;119(1):50-520870567