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Kids who eat lots of foods containing vitamin E may have a lower risk of the itchy skin condition called eczema, a new study in Japanese youngsters shows.
At the same time, foods rich in vitamin A don't seem to protect against allergies, despite earlier studies suggesting they do.
Dr. Masayuki Okuda of Yamaguchi University in Ube and colleagues measured the levels of substances in the blood that showed how much of the two vitamins children were likely eating. They focused on asthma and eczema because both are allergy-related conditions.
Among 396 10- and 13-year-old children, 240 of whom had eczema, wheezing, or asthma, the researchers found no relationship between a child's risk of any of the conditions and his or her blood levels of vitamin A-related compounds.
However, kids with the highest levels of vitamin E-related compounds were at 67% lower risk of eczema than those with the lowest. Even those with only moderately higher than average levels of the compound had a similarly lower risk.