In their research, scientists focused on food compounds that affect a molecule in the body, the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR).
Eating broccoli or cabbage contributes to reducing the severity of skin allergies, according to a study presented today (Tuesday) by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and its results indicated the importance of those with sensitive skin following a balanced diet.
In the study published in the scientific journal “A Life”, researchers from the “Inserm” and “Curie” institutes showed, in the first stage, that the lack of access to compounds found in some vegetables, specifically in broccoli and cabbage, made skin allergies more severe in a group of animals.
It is already known that skin sensitivity results from an inappropriate immune response to compounds present in the environment, and that the degree of its severity varies based on several factors, including the diet.
In their research, the scientists focused on food compounds that affect a molecule in the body, which is the “aromatic hydrocarbon receptor” (AhR). These nutrients are usually found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli.
The researchers showed that the absence of these nutrients in mice is associated with increased dermatitis and exacerbation of skin sensitivity, which was not observed in mice that received a diet containing these compounds. How can we explain what happens biologically when these nutritional compounds are absent?
In the absence of these nutrients, the researchers observed an overproduction of TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) in the skin of mice. This overproduction disrupts the normal functioning of a class of immune cells, the Langerhans cells found exclusively in the skin, which act as “modulators of cutaneous immune responses”.
The scientists then determined that compounds that activate aromatic hydrocarbon receptors also control the production of TGF-beta in human skin cells. “The results of the study suggest that an unbalanced diet may increase allergic skin reactions in humans,” said Inserm researcher Elodie Segura, who led the study at the Curie Institute.