Background and methodology:
This study investigated whether consumption of organic food by infants was associated with developing atopic diseases such as exzema and wheezing during the first two years of life. The KOALA Birth Cohort Study in the Netherlands measured organic food consumption, eczema and wheezing in infants until 2 years old using repeated questionnaires. Blood samples taken from 815 infants at 2 years of age were analyzed for total and specific antibodies (Immunoglobulin E or (IgE) for cow’s milk, hen’s egg, peanut, mites, birch and grass pollen).
Of all the children, 10 percent had consumed a moderately organic diet and 6 percent a strictly organic diet. Approximately 27 percent of the children were sensitized against at least one allergen. Consumption of organic dairy products was associated with lower risk of eczema but there was no association of organic meat, fruit, vegetables or eggs, or the proportion of organic products within the total diet with the development of eczema, wheezing or sensitivity to allergens.
- Kummeling, I., Thijs, C., Huber, M., van de Vijver L. P., Snijders, B. E. , Penders, J., Stelma, F, van Ree, R., van den Brandt, P. A., Dagnelie, P. C. (2008). Consumption of organic foods and risk of atopic disease during the first 2 years of life in the Netherlands. The British Journal of Nutrition, 99(3), 598-605. Available on-line at: http://www.soilassociation.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/librarytitles/2504A.HTMl/$file/Soil_Association_organic_milk_briefing.pdf
- Vijver, L. V. D., & Huber, M. (2007). KOALA – the first prospective study on organic food and health effects in human shows that organic dairy protects against eczema. Organic Food Quality & Health Newsletter November 07, Edition No. 3/200. Available on-line at: http://www.organicfqhresearch.org/downloads/newsletter/fqhnewsletternovember2007.pdf