Although external environmental substances (like pollen) can trigger some asthma, food can also trigger or exacerbate the condition. According to Alan Gaby, M.D., an unrecognized food allergy (and/or food intolerance) is a contributing factor in at least 75 percent of people with childhood asthma and about 40 percent of those with adult asthma. “As early as 1959, Albert H. Rowe, M.D., a pioneer in the field of food allergy, successfully treated 95 asthmatic patients with dietary changes alone,” Gaby says. At the top of the list of foods most likely to provoke asthma? Dairy products. Other usual suspects include eggs, chocolate, wheat, corn, citrus fruits, and fish. Tartrazine (yellow dye #5) is believed to be a trigger for thousands of people.
- Jonny Bowden