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Tartrazine exclusion for allergic asthma.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Tartrazine is the best known and one of the most commonly used food additives. Food colorants are also used in many medications as well as foods. There has been conflicting evidence as to whether tartrazine causes exacerbations of asthma with some studies finding a positive association especially in individuals with cross-sensitivity to aspirin.

OBJECTIVES

To assess the overall effect of tartrazine (exclusion or challenge) in the management of asthma.

SEARCH STRATEGY

A search was carried out using the Cochrane Airways Group specialised register. Bibliographies of each RCT was searched for additional papers. Authors of identified RCTs were contacted for further information for their trials and details of other studies.

SELECTION CRITERIA

RCTs of oral administration of tartrazine (as a challenge) versus placebo or dietary avoidance of tartrazine versus normal diet were considered. Studies which focused upon allergic asthma, were also included. Studies of tartrazine exclusion for other allergic conditions such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis and eczema were only considered if the results for subjects with asthma were separately identified. Trials could be in either adults or children with asthma or allergic asthma (e.g. sensitivity to aspirin or food items known to contain tartrazine).

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Study quality was assessed and data abstracted by two reviewers independently. Outcomes were analysed using RevMan 4.1.1.

MAIN RESULTS

Ninety abstracts were found, of which 18 were potentially relevant. Six met the inclusion criteria, but only three presented results in a format that permitted analysis and none could be combined in a meta-analysis. In none of the studies did tartrazine challenge or avoidance in diet significantly alter asthma outcomes.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS

Due to the paucity of available evidence, it is not possible to provide firm conclusions as to the effects of tartrazine on asthma control. However, the six RCTs that could be included in this review all arrived at the same conclusion. Routine tartrazine exclusion may not benefit most patients, except those very few individuals with proven sensitivity.

Authors+Show Affiliations

,

Department of Public Health, Liverpool Health Authority, Hamilton House, Pall Mall, Liverpool, UK, L3 6AL. kate.ardern@liverpool-ha.nhs.uk

Source

MeSH

Asthma
Food Coloring Agents
Humans
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Tartrazine

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

11687081

Citation

Ardern, K D., and F S. Ram. "Tartrazine Exclusion for Allergic Asthma." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2001, p. CD000460.
Ardern KD, Ram FS. Tartrazine exclusion for allergic asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001.
Ardern, K. D., & Ram, F. S. (2001). Tartrazine exclusion for allergic asthma. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (4), p. CD000460.
Ardern KD, Ram FS. Tartrazine Exclusion for Allergic Asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(4)CD000460. PubMed PMID: 11687081.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Tartrazine exclusion for allergic asthma. AU - Ardern,K D, AU - Ram,F S, PY - 2001/11/1/pubmed PY - 2002/4/20/medline PY - 2001/11/1/entrez SP - CD000460 EP - CD000460 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Tartrazine is the best known and one of the most commonly used food additives. Food colorants are also used in many medications as well as foods. There has been conflicting evidence as to whether tartrazine causes exacerbations of asthma with some studies finding a positive association especially in individuals with cross-sensitivity to aspirin. OBJECTIVES: To assess the overall effect of tartrazine (exclusion or challenge) in the management of asthma. SEARCH STRATEGY: A search was carried out using the Cochrane Airways Group specialised register. Bibliographies of each RCT was searched for additional papers. Authors of identified RCTs were contacted for further information for their trials and details of other studies. SELECTION CRITERIA: RCTs of oral administration of tartrazine (as a challenge) versus placebo or dietary avoidance of tartrazine versus normal diet were considered. Studies which focused upon allergic asthma, were also included. Studies of tartrazine exclusion for other allergic conditions such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis and eczema were only considered if the results for subjects with asthma were separately identified. Trials could be in either adults or children with asthma or allergic asthma (e.g. sensitivity to aspirin or food items known to contain tartrazine). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Study quality was assessed and data abstracted by two reviewers independently. Outcomes were analysed using RevMan 4.1.1. MAIN RESULTS: Ninety abstracts were found, of which 18 were potentially relevant. Six met the inclusion criteria, but only three presented results in a format that permitted analysis and none could be combined in a meta-analysis. In none of the studies did tartrazine challenge or avoidance in diet significantly alter asthma outcomes. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Due to the paucity of available evidence, it is not possible to provide firm conclusions as to the effects of tartrazine on asthma control. However, the six RCTs that could be included in this review all arrived at the same conclusion. Routine tartrazine exclusion may not benefit most patients, except those very few individuals with proven sensitivity. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11687081/full_citation DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -