Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Antioxidant nutrient intakes and corresponding biomarkers associated with the risk of atopic dermatitis in young children



To investigate the association of antioxidant nutritional status with the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD) in young children in a case–control, population-based study.


Identified from preschools by using the Korean version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Final analysis included 180 AD (mean age 5.3±0.9 years) and 242 non-AD (mean age 5.2±1.0 years) children. Diet was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Fasting blood samples were used for analyses of fat-soluble vitamins (retinol, α-tocopherol, and β-carotene) and vitamin C.


AD was associated negatively with intakes of antioxidant-related nutrients. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were 0.44 (0.22–0.88) for the highest (vs lowest) quintile of β-carotene. A similar association was observed for dietary vitamin E (OR=0.33, 95% CI=0.16–0.67), folic acid (OR=0.37, 95% CI=0.18–0.73), and iron (OR=0.39, 95% CI=0.19–0.79). Reduced AD risk was found with 1 s.d. increase of serum α-tocopherol [OR=0.64, 95% CI=0.41–0.98) and retinol (OR=0.74, 95% CI=0.58–0.96) concentrations, and marginally with that of serum β-carotene levels (P=0.0749 for trend). There was no relationship of AD risk with dietary and plasma vitamin C as well as nutrient supplement intake regardless of nutrient type. AD was predicted better by the intake measure than the corresponding blood biomarker regarding vitamin E and β-carotene.


These findings suggest that higher antioxidant nutritional status reduces the risk of AD and that such risk-reduction effects depend on nutrient type.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1
Figure 2


  • Cemek M, Dede S, Bayiroglu F, Caksen H, Cemek F, Mert N (2006). Relationship between antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress in children with acute hepatitis A. World J Gastroenterol 12, 6212–6215.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chien YH, Hwu WL, Chiang BL (2007). The genetics of atopic dermatitis. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 33, 178–190.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cody RP, Smith JK (2005). Applied Statistics and SAS Programming Language, 5th edn. Prentice-Hall: New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Devereux G (2005). Diet as a risk factor for atopy and asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 115, 1109–1117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Denda M, Hosoi J, Asida Y (2000). Visual imaging of ion distribution in human epidermis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 272, 134–137.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Denda M, Kumazawa N (2002). Negative electric potential induces alteration of ion gradient and lamellar body secretion in the epidermis, and accelerates skin barrier recovery after barrier disruption. J Invest Dermatol 118, 65–72.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Devereux G (2007). Early life events in asthma—diet. Pediatr Pulmonol 42, 663–673.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dunder T, Kuikka L, Turtinen J, Räsänen L, Uhari M (2001). Diet, serum fatty acids, and atopic diseases in childhood. Allergy 56, 425–428.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Esteve MJ, Farre R, Frigola A, Carcia-Cantabella JM (1997). Determination of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in blood plasma and serum by liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr 688, 345–349.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis (1993). Severity scoring of atopic dermatitis: the SCORAD index: consensus report of the European task force on atopic dermatitis. Dermatology 186, 23–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fabre EE, Raynaud-Simon A, Golmard JL, Hebert M, Dulcire X, Succari M et al. (2008). Gene polymorphisms of oxidative stress enzymes: prediction of elderly renutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 87, 1504–1512.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gibson RS (2005). Principles of Nutritional Assessment, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press: New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoppu U, Rinne M, Salo-Väänänen P, Lampi AM, Piironen V, Isolauri E (2005). Vitamin C in breast milk may reduce the risk of atopy in the infant. Eur J Clin Nutr 59, 123–128.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hughes DA (2001). Dietary carotenoids and human immune function. Nutrition 17, 823–827.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Institute of Medicine (2000). Dietary reference intakes for vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids. National Academy Press: Washington D.C.

  • Islam T, Berhane K, McConnell R, Gauderman WJ, Avol E, Peters JM et al. (2009). Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) P1, GSTM1, exercise, ozone and asthma incidence in school children. Thorax 64, 197–202.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Korea National Statistical Office (2009). Monthly income and expenditure per urban household. Korean Statistic Information Service: Daejeon. Cited 4 February 2009. Available at

  • Laitinen K, Kalliomäki M, Poussa T, Lagström H, Isolauri E (2005). Evaluation of diet and growth in children with and without atopic eczema: follow-up study from birth to 4 years. Br J Nutr 94, 565–574.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lim Y, Oh S-Y (2002). Development of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire for pre-school children in Korea. Korean J Community Nutr 7, 58–66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Makiura M, Akamatsu H, Akita H, Yagami A, Shimizu Y, Eiro H et al. (2004). Atopic dermatitis-like symptoms in HR-1 hairless mice fed a diet low in magnesium and zinc. J Int Med Res 32, 392–399.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Martindale S, McNeill G, Devereux G, Campbell D, Russell G, Seaton A (2005). Antioxidant intake in pregnancy in relation to wheeze and eczema in the first two years of life. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 171, 121–128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Niwa Y, Sumi H, Kawahira K, Terashima T, Nakamura T, Akamatsu H (2003). Protein oxidative damage in the stratum corneum: evidence for a link between environmental oxidants and the changing prevalence and nature of atopic dermatitis in Japan. Br J Dermatol 149, 248–254.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Oh JW, Kim GE, Pyun BY, Lee HL, Jeong JT, Hong SJ et al. (2003). Nationwide study for epidemiological change of atopic dermatitis in school aged children between 1995 and 2000 and kindergarten aged children in 2003 in Korea. Pediatr Allergy Respir Dis 13, 227–237.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sausenthaler S, Koletzko S, Schaaf B, Lehmann I, Borte M, Herbarth O et al. (2007). Maternal diet during pregnancy in relation to eczema and allergic sensitization in the offspring at 2 y of age. Am J Clin Nutr 85, 530–537.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shin KO, Oh S-Y, Park HS (2007). Empirically derived major dietary patterns and their associations with overweight in Korean preschool children. Br J Nutr 98, 416–422.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Son KY, Park KS, Hwang HH, Yun BS, Lee SJ, Kim MA et al. (2007). Prevalence of allergic diseases among primary school children in Ilsan, Gyeonggi and changes of symptoms after environmental control in 2005. Pediatr Allergy Respir Dis 17, 384–393.

    Google Scholar 

  • Souza Valente da Silva L, Valeria da Veiga G, Ramalho RA (2007). Association of serum concentrations of retinol and carotenoids with overweight in children and adolescents. Nutrition 23, 392–397.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Talwar D, Ha KK T, Cooney J, Brwonlee C, St JO’Reilly D (1998). A routine method for the simultaneous measurement of retinol, α-tocopherol, and five carotenoids in human plasma by reverse phase HPLC. Clin Chim Acta 270, 85–100.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Terui T (2009). Analysis of the mechanism for the development of allergic skin inflammation and the application for its treatment: overview of the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis. J Pharmacol Sci 110, 232–236.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tricon S, Willers S, Smit HA, Burney PG, Devereux G, Frew AJ et al. (2006). Nutrition and allergic disease. Clin Exp Allergy Rev 6, 117–188.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) (2009). ISAAC Mannual, 2nd edn. Updated 24 January 2009; cited 5 February 2009. Available at

  • Thurnham DI, Davies JA, Crump BJ, Situnayake RD, Davis M (1986). The use of different lipids to express serum tocopherol: lipid ratios for the measurement of vitamin E status. Ann Clin Biochem 23, 514–520.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Willett W, Stampfer MJ (1986). Total energy intake: implications for epidemiologic analyses. Am J Epidemiol 124, 17–27.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • World Health Organization (1995). Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry report of a WHO expert committee. World Health Organization: Geneva. Technical report series, no. 854.

  • Yeon NS, Sun YH, Kyung KW (2005). Prevalence of allergic disease in kindergarten age children in Korea. Pediatr Allergy Respir Dis 15, 439–445.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by grant no. R01-2006-000-10887-0 from the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation. We thank Ms Bo-Yeun Park for her work on biochemical analyses.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to S-Y Oh.

Additional information

Contributors: SYO, JC, and BHC designed the overall study and obtained funding; SYO and JC provided the definition of the variables; SYO, JC, MKK, and SOK were responsible for data analyses; SYO wrote the manuscript draft; JC and BHC provided critical reviews; and MMK and SOK were responsible for overseeing the data collection.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Oh, SY., Chung, J., Kim, MK. et al. Antioxidant nutrient intakes and corresponding biomarkers associated with the risk of atopic dermatitis in young children. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 245–252 (2010).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


This article is cited by


Quick links