Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

My Photo
Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Friday, March 30, 2007

My son David has been taking riding lessons at a special place called Saddle Up. They do theraputic riding for kids and people with various disabilities and challenges. David just completed his second 10-week class cycle and participated in the horse show. He won second place in his class in the show.
The day after the show, Heidi (a Norwegian Fjord like David's horse Bjorg) gave birth to her little Danika. David was able to go over and meet the new baby when it wasn't even yet an hour old. It was a very special time for David to get to see a new baby horse like that. David was even able to go in and help wash Heidi's "milker" so the new baby would be able to eat.
This has been such a wonderful experience for David and for all of us. Everyone at Saddle Up is so special and wonderful. The minute I start getting down about all the troubles and problems in this old world I think of Saddle Up and the extraordinary people who come there to work with and help others and immediately my spirits are lifted. There are some really really wonderful people in this world and we have been so blessed to have them in our lives.
Thank you so much, Saddle Up!

Some video I took of David and Seth a while back after a day of shooting David's "Star Wars" movie. They needed to blow off some steam. :)

Friday, March 23, 2007 - How Dental Hygienists Could Save Your Life - How Dental Hygienists Could Save Your Life: "More than just a pretty smile, clean teeth and gums are a sign of total body health. And those painful sessions with the dental hygienist could save your life, new findings suggest.
Most people know that the tedium of good oral hygiene—regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist's office—reduces tartar, plaque, cavities, gingivitis and bone loss and helps the breath smell like roses.

But recent research shows that diabetes, low birth weight babies and heart disease are also linked to gum and bone disease in the mouth that can be prevented by teeth cleanings. Treating gum disease might even prevent heart attacks, a new study suggests.

"Systemically, visits to the dentist and hygienist may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and possibly heart attack, and can decrease the likelihood of tooth loss for diabetics," said Gwen Cohen-Brown, a dentist and lecturer for the New York State Department of Health.

The tooth-heart link

When people neglect to brush their teeth or floss, bacteria accumulate between the teeth. These bacteria can make their way into the blood stream.

"Certain bacteria present in the mouth may be related to clogging up the arteries by contributing to the plaque that builds on the walls of the arteries," said New York University oral microbiologist Walter Bretz.

And treating gum disease, or periodontal disease, can improve the long-term function of endothelial cells that line blood vessel walls, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center. With better performing endothelial cells, plaques that cause heart disease will decrease, diminishing the risk of triggering a heart attack.

The authors of the study, detailed in the March 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, estimate that severe periodontitis affects up to 1 percent of adults in the U.S., and as many as 80 percent of American adults have some form of periodontal disease.

Unclear pregnancy results

Periodontal disease is also quite common among pregnant women. Expectant mothers' gums react differently to the bacteria due to their increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Women may experience swelling, bleeding or tenderness in the gum tissue.

Several studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of giving birth to a premature and underweight baby.

Yet, an article published in a 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reported that, although treatment of gum disease in pregnant women is safe and improves periodontal health, preterm birth and low birth-weight babies were unaffected by the treatment.

The jury is still out on whether a mother's unhealthy gums can affect her unborn baby, but scientists are learning more from a large clinical trial currently under way at the University of Minnesota, focusing on whether treating periodontal diseases in pregnant women may prevent preterm and low birth-weight babies.

Diabetes and dental health

Unlike the case for pregnancy, researchers have found direct links between gum disease and diabetes. Gum disease is known to increase the risk of diabetes, and vice-versa.

Studies show that inflammatory periodontal diseases may increase insulin in the same way that obesity increases insulin.

Meanwhile, doctors recognize diabetes as an important risk factor for severe gum disease and infection that may result in the destruction of tissues and bone surrounding the tooth.

Taking care of teeth can combat complications of diabetes and may reduce inflammation throughout the body associated with diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

In addition to biannual visits with the dentist and hygienist, Cohen-Brown recommends patients brush after every meal, of course. If that's impossible, she said, brush in the morning and at night before bed, floss daily and stay away from carbohydrate-rich and sugary foods.

"When oral health improves, overall health improves," Cohen-Brown told LiveScience.


Plant Estrogen May Cut Breast Cancer

Plant Estrogen May Cut Breast Cancer: "March 20, 2007 -- A diet rich in estrogen-like compounds found in flaxseed, tea, and many plants may help curb breast cancer after menopause.

That's according to a French study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The study included about 58,000 postmenopausal French women who were followed for an average of more than seven years.

When the study began between 1993 and 1997, the women were in their early 50s, on average, and didn't have breast cancer. They completed surveys about their diet and lifestyle, including how often they consumed 208 foods and beverages.

Researchers included Francoise Clavel-Chapelon, PhD, of France's Institut National de le Sante et de la Recherche (INSERM), which is France's institute for biological, medical, and public health research.

Levels of Lignans
Using the completed dietary surveys, Clavel-Chapelon and colleagues calculated the women's daily intake of lignans, which are a type of plant estrogen found in many plants.

On average, the women consumed 1 milligram per day of lignans, with daily lignan intake ranging from 0 to 5 milligrams.

The women got their lignans from fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, and grain products including bread, breakfast cereals, rice, and pasta.

Flaxseed, which is particularly high in lignans, isn't part of the traditional French diet, but it may be becoming more common in French multigrain bread, the researchers note.

More Lignans, Less Breast Cancer

A total of 1,469 women in the study group were diagnosed with breast cancer during the follow-up period.

Women with the highest lignan intake were 17% less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer during the study than those with the lowest intake.

Those findings take other breast cancer risk factors into account.

However, the study didn't track soy consumption. Soy contains isoflavones, which are plant estrogens that aren't lignans.

Lignans were only linked to a reduced risk of breast cancers that are sensitive to the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

One More Reason to Eat Plants, Grains

The French study didn't directly test lignans against breast cancer, so the findings don't prove that lignans lower breast cancer risk.

But Clavel-Chapelon and colleagues say their findings support recommendations for women to eat diets consisting largely of fruits, vegetables, and grain products, which are all good sources of lignans.


Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure: "March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

What does this have to do with high blood pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure.

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The effect of dilution on the rate of hydrogen peroxide production in honey and its implications for wound healing.

The effect of dilution on the rate of hydrogen peroxide production in honey and its implications for wound healing.: "CONCLUSION: Significant antibacterial activity can be maintained easily when using honey as a wound dressing, even on a heavily exuding wound. Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide generated are very low in comparison to those typically applied to a wound, thus, cytotoxic damage by hydrogen peroxide is very low."

Investigating the antimicrobial activity of natural honey and its effects on the pathogenic bacterial infections of surgical wounds and conjunctiva.

Investigating the antimicrobial activity of natural honey and its effects on the pathogenic bacterial infections of surgical wounds and conjunctiva.: "Al-Waili NS
Dubai Specialized Medical Center and Medical Research Laboratories, Islamic Establishment for Education, PO Box 19099, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Antimicrobial activities of 10-100% (wt/vol) concentrations of new honey, stored honey, heated honey, ultraviolet-exposed honey, and heated stored honey were tested against common human pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Entrobacter cloacae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, Klebsiella sp., Haemophilus influenzae, Proteus sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus hemolyticus group B, and Candida albicans. Antimicrobial activity of honey was tested in acidic, neutral, or alkaline media. These were compared with similar concentrations of glucose in nutrient broth. Surgical wounds were made on the dorsum of mice and infected with S. aureus or Klebsiella sp. The wounds were treated with local application of honey four times a day or appropriate antibiotics and compared with control values. Bacterial conjunctivitis due to E. coli, Proteus sp., S. aureus, Klebsiella sp., and P. aeruginosa was induced in rats. Conjunctival application of honey four times a day or appropriate antibiotics was used for treatment and compared with control values. Growth of all the isolates was completely inhibited by 30-100% honey concentrations. The most sensitive microbes were E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and H. influenzae. Glucose showed less antimicrobial activity than honey, and many microbes showed positive culture even in 100% glucose. Heating to 80 degrees C for 1 hour decreased antimicrobial activity of both new and stored honey. Storage of honey for 5 years decreased its antimicrobial activity, while ultraviolet light exposure increased its activity against some of the microorganisms. Antimicrobial activity of honey was stronger in acidic media than in neutral or alkaline media. Single doses of honey used to prepare the 60% concentration in nutrient broth were bacteriocidal for P. aeruginosa and bacteriostatic for S. aureus and Klebsiella sp. during certain periods. Local application of raw honey on infected wounds reduced redness, swelling, time for complete resolution of lesion, and time for eradication of bacterial infection due to S. aureus or Klebsiella sp. Its potency was comparable to that of local antibiotics. Honey application into infective conjunctivitis reduced redness, swelling, pus discharge, and time for eradication of bacterial infections due to all the isolates tested.


Mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil inhibits growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.

Mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil inhibits growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.: "BACKGROUND: Honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture (1:1:1, v/v) is useful in the treatment of diaper dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. The study was designed to investigate effects of honey, olive oil, and beeswax and the mixture on growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans isolated from human specimens. METHODS: The following experiments were performed: 1) honey mixture was poured on holes made on plates seeded with S. aureus or C. albicans, 2) the microorganisms were cultured onto media made of honey mixture alone, nutrient agar-honey mixture and Sabouraud glucose agar-honey mixture. The concentration of honey mixture in nutrient agar or Sabouraud glucose agar was 12.5, 25, 33, 50 and 66% (v/v), and 3) honey, olive oil or beeswax was added onto nutrient agar or Sabouraud glucose agar at a ratio of 1:2 (v/v) and then were seeded with S. aureus or C. albicans. RESULTS: Clear zone of inhibition was observed around holes filled with honey mixture; 3.5 mm on media seeded with C. albicans and 4 mm on media seeded with S. aureus. No growth of either microorganism was obtained on media made of honey mixture alone. The minimum concentration of honey mixture in nutrient agar-honey mixture media required to inhibit S. aureus was 50% and 66% concentration was required to inhibit C. albicans growth onto Sabouraud glucose agar-honey mixture media. No growth of S. aureus or C. albicans was obtained on media containing honey whereas mild to moderate growth was obtained on media containing olive oil or beeswax. CONCLUSIONS: Honey and honey mixture apparently could inhibit growth of S. aureus or C. albicans."

The antimicrobial potential of honey from United Arab Emirates on some microbial isolates.

The antimicrobial potential of honey from United Arab Emirates on some microbial isolates.: "Al-Waili NS; Akmal M; Al-Waili FS; Saloom KY; Ali A
Al-Waili Charitable Foundation for Science and Trading, New York, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND: The study investigated activity of honey towards pathogens when grown in media contained honey, or when honey was added to cultures after inoculation. MATERIAL/METHODS: 1--Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes), E.coli and Candida albicans (C. albicans) were cultured into broth containing 10-100% (wt/v) honey concentrations. 2--Honey was added to broth inoculated with isolates after inoculation. 3--Optimum growth of isolates, therapeutic period of honey, and time after addition of honey that showed optimum effect was measured. RESULTS: The optimum growth of E. Coli and C. Albicans was 10 hrs and S. aureus was 12 hrs. Honey (30-70%) prevents growth of all isolates. Honey (80%) inhibited growth of small (1 microl) and large size of inoculum (10 microl) of E. Coli and S. Aureus when added to their cultures during 24 hrs after inoculation. Honey inhibited growth of C. Albicans when added during 2 to 6 hrs after inoculation. Honey delayed the appearance of microbial growth on the plates. Reculturing of specimens collected from media that showed no growth after addition of honey yielded recovery growth for E.coli and C. Albicans, and therapeutic period of honey for E.coli and S. Aureus was 2-24 hrs and for C. Albicans was 2-6 hrs. CONCLUSIONS: Honey prevents growth of the isolates and inhibits their growth when honey was added to growing culture. The therapeutic period of honey and recovery growth of inhibited isolates necessitates adjustment of honey doses according to type of isolate and grade of growth."

Can the Foods You Eat Make a Difference in Chronic Pain?

You may be familiar with the anti-inflammatory medications, but have you heard of anti-inflammatory foods? The foods you eat really do have an affect on how you feel.

What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is defined as a localized reaction of tissue to irritation, injury, or infection. Symptoms of inflammation include pain, swelling, red coloration to the area, and sometimes loss of movement or function. We commonly think of inflammation as the painful component of arthritis. Inflammation is also a component of chronic diseases such as heart disease and strokes.

Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods
Pro-inflammatory foods will increase inflammation, increase your pain from the inflammation and may also raise your risk for chronic disease. Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar and fast foods will increase inflammation in your body. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, especially trans fats and saturated fats. Processed meats such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrites that are associated with increased inflammation and chronic disease.
Saturated fats are also found in meats, dairy products and eggs. While all of these foods are important source of minerals and vitamins, you don't need the extra saturated fat. These foods also also contain fatty acids called arachidonic acid. While some arachidonic acid is essential for your health, too much arachidonic acid in the diet may make your inflammation worse. Be sure to choose low fat milk and cheese and lean cuts of meat, which will not promote inflammation.

Diets high in sugar have also been associated with inflammation, obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes. Eliminate high sugar foods such as sodas, soft drinks, pastries, presweetened cereals and candy.

Another possible source of irritation comes from the nightshade family of plants. Whole fruits and vegetables are important to eat for their vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants, however some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant may actually make pain from inflammation worse. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. Solanine can trigger pain in some people. While there isn't any formal research findings that back the claim about nightshade plants, you can avoid them for a few weeks to see if your pain and symptoms of inflammation improve.

Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Adding foods that reduce inflammation will improve how you feel and help to decrease your risk for chronic diseases. Here are some suggestions.

Fats and Oils
The right types of fats in your diet will impact pain and inflammation in a positive way. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They are found in cold water oily fish, walnuts, flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds. Adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements from flax oil or fish oil may also help reduce inflammation, just be sure to speak with a doctor or nutritionist before taking larger, therapeutic doses of any supplement, or follow label instructions.
Olive oil is another type of oil that will reduce inflammation. In fact, olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and will help to reduce pain.
Other healthy oils include rice bran oil, grape seed oil, and walnut oil.

Your body needs protein to build healthy body tissues. Good protein sources include lean poultry, fish and seafood, nuts, legumes and seeds. Red meats may trigger inflammation, so cut back on fatty red meats. When you do eat red meat, choose grass-fed, low fat bison, venison and other game meats, or the lowest-fat cuts of beef.
Soybeans, tofu, and soy milk are three great sources of soy proteins that may help to reduce your pain and inflammation.

Carbohydrates and Fiber
Most of your carbohydrates should come from whole grains, vegetables and fruits. The bread, cereal and pasta in your diet should be mostly be 100 percent whole grain products. Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber, and a high fiber diet will reduce your inflammation.
Choose green leafy vegetables, green and brightly colored vegetables and lots of fresh whole fruits. You should eat at least five and preferably more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Green vegetables and whole fruits are also important as sources of dietary fiber.
Berries are also a great food choice, especially blueberries and strawberries which are packed with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and anti-oxidants. The pigments in brightly colored fruits, vegetables and berries contain many phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. One example is quercetin, which is found in apple and red onion skins and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Healthy Beverages
Your body needs water in the form of foods and beverages every day. The simplest and maybe best form of water is fresh drinking water. Other good fluid sources include 100 percent fruit juices, herbal teas, vegetable juices and low fat milk. About 20 percent of the water you need every day will come from the foods you eat.

"Food Allergies"
Some people believe that allergy-like reactions to foods may increase inflammation and pain. These type of "food allergies" may make pain and inflammation worse. The underlying problem may be due to faulty digestion or excessive consumption of any particular food. Most any food that is consumed more than four days a week can be suspected as a possible allergen, but some of the more common allergic foods are milk and dairy, wheat, corn, eggs, beef, yeast and soy. Even healthy foods can cause problems if you are sensitive to them. There are blood tests that can be performed, or elimination diets that can be undertaken to determine the problem foods.

Over all, when you are choosing anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce your inflammation and pain, choose fresh foods instead of heavily processed foods. Here are some tips:
--Breakfast could be oatmeal served with fresh berries and walnuts, with a cup of soy milk.
--Snack on whole fruits, nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables throughout the day instead of cookies and candy.
--Eat more fish and less fatty red meat.
--Stay away from deep fried foods and bake or stir fry your meals instead.
--Choose green, orange, and yellow vegetables for your side dishes.
--Drink plenty of water, fresh 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas and green tea.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Moon River

This is a friend of mine from the UK (home of the Mini Cooper!!!!). I love all the songs he plays but this particular song hits home. Isn't it beautiful?!!!!

Natural Medicines Indexed by Common Name

PDRhealth list of herbal/natural medicines information.

David's Jujitsu Promotion

Last night David received his first promotion in his jujitsu class. And it was a double promotion! He has been attending jujitsu for almost two months now. Last night he was promoted to orange belt and was then given a yellow stripe for his belt indicating that he is more than half-way to meeting his yellow belt requirements. David is learning so quickly and is practicing his skills at home with big brother Joe. It is wonderful to see him learning so quickly!

Friday, March 02, 2007

February 20, 2007 — A maternal diet with high intake of margarine, vegetable oils, and citrus fruit during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy is linked with eczema in children by 2 years of age, according to the results of a study reported in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"Maternal diet during pregnancy might be one of the factors that influences fetal immune responses associated with childhood allergy," write Stefanie Sausenthaler, of the Institute of Epidemiology in Neuherberg, Germany, and colleagues from the LISA (Influences of Lifestyle-related Factors on the Immune System and the Development of Allergies in Childhood) Study Group. "Postnatally, a high dietary intake of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of allergic diseases because of their proinflammatory properties, whereas n-3 PUFAs and dietary antioxidants are supposed to have a protective effect on asthma and allergies. Although there is a biological basis for a prenatal effect of dietary factors on the development of allergic diseases, the number of studies investigating this subject is very limited."

Using a German prospective birth cohort study (LISA), the investigators analyzed data from 2641 children at 2 years of age. A semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire administered shortly after childbirth was used to evaluate maternal diet during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy.

During the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, high maternal intake of margarine (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 - 2.04) and vegetable oils (aOR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.14 - 1.91) was positively associated with eczema in the children by 2 years of age. In contrast, high maternal fish intake was inversely associated with this risk (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.57 - 0.98). High intake of celery (aOR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.18 - 2.89) and citrus fruit (aOR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.18 - 2.53) was associated with increased risk for sensitization against food allergens. Sensitization against inhalant allergens was associated positively with a high maternal intake of deep-frying vegetable fat (aOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.02 - 2.54), raw sweet pepper (aOR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.20 - 3.90), and citrus fruit (aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.02 - 2.92).

"We suggest that the intake of allergenic foods and foods rich in n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy may increase and foods rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may decrease the risk of allergic diseases in the offspring," the authors write.

Study limitations include possible misclassification of dietary exposure, lack of data on usual serving sizes, inability to rule out that the reported associations were modified by the diet of the children during the first 2 years of life, inability to evaluate the health effect of each single food, possible reverse causation if atopic mothers altered their diet during pregnancy to avoid known food allergens, and insufficient power to identify more specific associations between single foods and specific food sensitization.

"Currently, no recommendations are being made to mothers to modify their diets to prevent allergies in their children because of insufficient evidence of a beneficial effect," the authors conclude. "However, before any recommendations can be made, randomized clinical intervention trials should be performed to confirm the cause-effect relation observed in the present study."

The Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research, and Technology supported this study. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:530-537.

Study Highlights
Of 3097 newborns enrolled in previous study, 2664 participated at age 24 months and 2641 met enrollment criteria.
Exclusion criteria included chronic disease, lack of maternal diet information, and no response to the 24-month survey.
Participants and excluded subjects were similar in sex, birth weight, and birth season.
Compared with excluded subjects, participants were more likely to live in Munich, to have older mothers, parents with higher level of education, and at least 1 parent with atopic disease, and to be breast-fed for at least 4 months. They were less likely to have mothers who smoked during pregnancy and to have 2 or more older siblings.
Maternal food intake of 26 food items during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy was obtained by food-frequency questionnaire following delivery (median, 3 days).
Total and specific IgE levels were obtained at age 24 months.
Parents reported clinician-diagnosed "allergic or atopic eczema in the past 6 months" for 17.7% of children.
Food allergen sensitization, defined by specific serum IgE of at least 0.35 kU/L against food allergens (egg, cow milk, wheat, peanut, soybean, and codfish) was found in 9.3% of children.
The most common food allergens were egg in 5.4% and milk in 5.1%.
Inhalant allergen sensitization was defined by specific serum IgE of at least 0.35 kU/L against house dust allergens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, German cockroach, house dust); cat dander; mixed molds (Penicillium notatum, Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Alternaria alternata); or seasonal allergens (timothy grass, mugwort, English plantain, ribwort, wall pellitory, birch pollen).
Most common inhalant allergen was house dust in 2.8%.
Maternal diet was linked to study area, maternal age at delivery, maternal smoking during pregnancy, parental education, and duration of exclusive breast-feeding.
Odds ratios were adjusted for study area, sex, maternal age at delivery, smoking during pregnancy, parental education, exclusive breast-feeding for at least 4 months, family history of atopy, birth season, and dietary variables.
Eczema was positively associated with high maternal intake of margarine (aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.08 - 2.04) and vegetable oils (aOR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.14 - 1.91).
Eczema was negatively associated with high maternal intake of fish (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.57 - 0.98).
Food allergen sensitization was positively associated with high maternal intake of celery (aOR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.18 - 2.89) and citrus fruit (aOR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.18 - 2.53).
Inhalant allergy sensitization was positively associated with high maternal intake of deep-frying vegetable fat (aOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.02 - 2.54), raw sweet peppers (aOR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.20 - 3.90), and citrus fruit (aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.02 - 2.92).
High cream intake was associated with increased risk for cow milk sensitization (aOR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.07 - 2.45).
Egg intake was not associated with egg sensitization.
Study limitations included possible misreporting of dietary intake and effect of children's diet in the first 2 years.
Authors suggest randomized trials to confirm results prior to making recommendations for maternal dietary intake.