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Eating More Fermented Foods May Help Lower Incidences of Eczema

Eczema is a condition that causes patches of skin to become inflamed to the point of blisters that itch and bleed. A recent study found a correlation between higher intakes of fermented food like kimchi and beer and lower incidences of eczema.


For this study, researchers examined data that included 9,763 people over the age of 19 who took part in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They used food frequency questionnaires in order to determine dietary patterns.


The researchers found that high intakes of fermented foods and beer were associated with a 44% lower prevalence of eczema. They also found similar reductions associated with coffee, chocolate, and ice cream. Conversely, they found that high consumption levels of meat and processed foods were correlated with a higher prevalence of eczema. No association was noted between eczema incidence and raw vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seafood.


The researchers believe that the beneficial effects are probably related to the high presence of probiotics or biogenic metabolites in these foods that are produced during the fermentation process.


Researchers from Keimyung University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 18, 2015, in Nutrition Research.


Traditional fermented foods include kimchi and other pickled Asian vegetables. They can be found in Asian supermarkets and make a great addition to lunch or dinner. Previous studies suggest that fermented foods high in probiotics may also help with other forms of mental health.

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