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Geelong West, Australia

Zakariaeeabkoo R.,RMIT University | Allen K.J.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Allen K.J.,University of Melbourne | Koplin J.J.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2014

Food allergy has a dramatic impact on a child's (and their family's) quality of life and places a major financial burden on the community. It has been hypothesized that the increase in food allergy may relate to the concordant rise in prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency. More recently a second hypothesis has implicated vitamin A sufficiency in the development of immune tolerance. Together, these hypotheses have prompted investigation into the circulating levels of vitamins A and D in relation to food allergy prevalence. This review aims to examine the relationship between vitamins A and D and food allergy. The first part of this review presents the available epidemiological data which proposes a dramatic increase of food allergy and related anaphylaxis during the last two decades. There is some indirect evidence that variation in food allergy prevalence within countries might be linked with ambient ultra violet radiation exposure and thus potentially with vitamin D levels. Only a few studies to date have directly examined the relationship between measured serum vitamin D levels and either food sensitization or allergy. The significance of vitamin A in food allergy prevalence is only provided through a hypothetical association due to its role in the immune system. The second part of this review discusses the relevant aspects of the analytical methods to assess vitamin A and D levels in children. The primary methods utilized relate to measuring the main circulating forms of vitamins A and D in blood i.e. retinol and 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D3 respectively. Chromatographic separation coupled with mass spectrometric detection is considered the gold standard method for both vitamins. These analytical methods should be fully validated for the use in pediatric populations to ensure they are fit for their clinical purpose. © 2014 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists.

West C.E.,A+ Network | West C.E.,Umea University | Renz H.,A+ Network | Renz H.,University of Marburg | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Rapid environmental transition and modern lifestyles are likely driving changes in the biodiversity of the human gut microbiota. With clear effects on physiologic, immunologic, and metabolic processes in human health, aberrations in the gut microbiome and intestinal homeostasis have the capacity for multisystem effects. Changes in microbial composition are implicated in the increasing propensity for a broad range of inflammatory diseases, such as allergic disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity, and associated noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). There are also suggestive implications for neurodevelopment and mental health. These diverse multisystem influences have sparked interest in strategies that might favorably modulate the gut microbiota to reduce the risk of many NCDs. For example, specific prebiotics promote favorable intestinal colonization, and their fermented products have anti-inflammatory properties. Specific probiotics also have immunomodulatory and metabolic effects. However, when evaluated in clinical trials, the effects are variable, preliminary, or limited in magnitude. Fecal microbiota transplantation is another emerging therapy that regulates inflammation in experimental models. In human subjects it has been successfully used in cases of Clostridium difficile infection and IBD, although controlled trials are lacking for IBD. Here we discuss relationships between gut colonization and inflammatory NCDs and gut microbiota modulation strategies for their treatment and prevention. © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Vuillermin P.J.,Child Health Research Unit | Vuillermin P.J.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Vuillermin P.J.,University of Melbourne | Vuillermin P.J.,Deakin University | And 6 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Allergy | Year: 2013

A variety of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the recently described increase in food allergy among children living in developed countries. In this study, we summarize the emerging risk factors for IgE-mediated food allergy in early life, and then review the evidence for and against an association between low vitamin status (VDS) and food allergy. We consider whether each of the epidemiological variables that have been associated with food allergy may also be associated with VDS; and argue that future studies must adequately account for the potential relationships between risk factors for food allergy and VDS, and must also discriminate between vitamin D derived by sun exposure, diet and oral supplementation. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Vuillermin P.J.,Child Health Research Unit | Robertson C.F.,Royal Childrens Hospital | South M.,Royal Childrens Hospital
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2011

Purpose of review: To review the theoretical background and current evidence regarding parent-initiated oral corticosteroid (PIOCS) therapy in preschool wheeze and asthma in school-aged children. Recent findings: In school-aged children with asthma PIOCS, given during acute episodes, has been associated with a modest reduction in asthma symptoms and health resource utilisation. In preschool wheeze, OCS (including PIOCS) therapy appears to be ineffective. Summary: PIOCS is associated with modest benefits among school-aged children with acute asthma but is not effective among children with preschool wheeze. In older children with asthma, the potential benefits of PIOCS must be balanced against potential adverse effects associated with increased OCS administration. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Sun C.,Royal Melbourne Hospital | Burgner D.P.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Burgner D.P.,University of Melbourne | Ponsonby A.-L.,Royal Melbourne Hospital | And 11 more authors.
Pediatric Research | Year: 2013

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and originates in early life. The exact mechanisms of this early-life origin are unclear, but a likely mediator at the molecular level is epigenetic dysregulation of gene expression. Epigenetic factors have thus been posited as the likely drivers of early-life programming of adult-onset diseases. This review summarizes recent advances in epidemiology and epigenetic research of CVD risk in children, with a particular focus on twin studies. Classic twin studies enable partitioning of phenotypic variance within a population into additive genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental variances, and are invaluable in research in this area. Longitudinal cohort twin studies, in particular, may provide important insights into the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of CVD. We describe candidate gene and epigenome-wide association studies (EWASs) and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of CVD, and discuss the potential for evidence-based interventions. Identifying epigenetic changes associated with CVD-risk biomarkers in children will provide new opportunities to unravel the underlying biological mechanism of the origins of CVD and enable identification of those at risk for early-life interventions to alter the risk trajectory and potentially reduce CVD incidence later in life. Copyright © 2013 International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc.

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