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Researchers from Institut Curie and Inserm have discovered that the severity of skin allergies varies according to our diet and that the absence of certain vegetables from our diet can aggravate the symptoms.

We knew that vegetables from the cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) had protective effects against cancer and that they were also able to reduce the risk of stroke. A new study, conducted by researchers from the Institut Curie and Inserm, highlights a new benefit of these superfoods. In this study, published in the journal Elife, they show that eating broccoli (or any other vegetable from the cabbage family) can reduce the severity of skin allergies.

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A new reason to include broccoli in your diet

“We know that the severity of skin allergies can vary depending on many environmental factors, including diet. However, until now, the impact of the various compounds present in food was still poorly understood and poorly documented” care Researchers. The latter were therefore specifically interested in food compounds that act on a molecule present in the body, called the “aromatic hydrocarbon receptor” (AhR). Nutrients that naturally occur in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli.

The research team worked from a skin allergy model in mice. Some animals received a diet containing no compound that activates the AhR receptor, in order to assess the impact this could have on the severity of their allergy. Scientists have thus shown that the absence of these nutrients is associated with an increase in the state of inflammation in the skin and an aggravation of the skin allergy, which is not the case for mice having received a diet that contained these compounds.

“Our results suggest thatan unbalanced diet could increase allergic skin reactions in humans through mechanisms that we have precisely described. By schematizing, we could say that our work helps to explain why eating vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage can limit the severity of skin allergies and why it is therefore important to include them in one’s diet”, underlines Elodie Segura, researcher Inserm, which led this study at the Institut Curie.

These results open up interesting avenues of research on other skin diseases where inflammatory mechanisms are involved, such as psoriasis for example. Researchers also want to investigate the role of dietary compounds that activate the AhR receptor in tumor development.

Source :Homeostatic activation of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor by dietary ligands dampens cutaneous allergic responses by controlling Langerhans cells migrationElife, May 2023

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