The influence of a dietary advice on recurrent upper respiratory tract infections in children: a randomized controlled trial

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    Since there is no treatment for children suffering from upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) without immunological disorders, we searched for a possible tool to improve the health of these children.
    We evaluated whether a dietary advice including standard supportive care, can decrease the number and duration of URTI compared to standard supportive care in children aged 1-4 years with recurrent URTI.
    Material and Methods
    Design: A multicenter randomized controlled trial, with an intervention group receiving the dietary advice plus standard supportive care and a control group receiving standard supportive care alone.
    Setting: 3 Outpatient clinics in The Netherlands (urban and rural).
    Patients: 118 Children aged 1-4 years with recurrent URTIs.
    Intervention: A dietary advice consisting of five times per week green vegetables, 3 times per week beef, 300 mL whole milk per day, whole dairy butter on bread every day. Portion sizes are age appropriate. The intervention lasted for 6 months.
    Children in the intervention group had 4.8 (1.6-9.5) days per month with symptoms of an URTI in the last three months of the study, compared to 7.7 (4.0-12.3) in the control group (p = 0.03). The total number of URTIs during the study period of 6 months was 5,7 (±0,55) versus 6.8 (±0,49) respectively (p = 0.068). Total use of antibiotics was markedly reduced in the intervention group (p = 0.034), as well as the visits to the general practitioner (p=0.031), therefore possibly reducing healthcare costs.
    No adverse effects were observed in the lipid profiles, nor in growth parameters (weight, height, BMI).
    Discussion and conclusions
    This study shows a reduced number of days with symptoms of an URTI following a dietary advice consisting of green vegetables, beef and whole diary products. It did not significantly lower the number of infections. No adverse effects were observed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E307-E307
    JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
    Issue numberOCE2
    Early online date10 Jun 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    Event13th European Nutrition Conference, FENS 2019 - Convention Centre Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    Duration: 15 Oct 201918 Oct 2019
    Conference number: 13


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