Limiting Dietary Sugar Improves Pediatric Sinonasal Symptoms and Reduces Inflammation.

Research paper by Ali A Sawani, Monika M Farhangi, Chandrakala Aluganti CA N, Timothy M TM Maul, Sampath S Parthasarathy, Jordan J Smallwood, Julie L JL Wei

Indexed on: 01 Jun '18Published on: 01 Jun '18Published in: Journal of medicinal food


Excessive sugar consumption is associated with many chronic inflammatory diseases in adults. The effects of excessive sugar consumption in children have not been determined. In this study, we hypothesized that sinonasal symptoms and proinflammatory cytokine levels would be related and could be altered through reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. To test this, we conducted a pilot study involving behavior modification and a 2-week follow-up. Seventeen children participants were recruited, and eleven completed the study. The experimental group presented with chronic nasal congestion or rhinorrhea defined by daily symptoms without acute illness for at least 3 months. The control group presented for non-nasal problems. Both groups received counseling to decrease SSB consumption. The Sinus and Nasal Quality of Life (SN-5) Survey was administered, and a blood sample was obtained by venipuncture at baseline and 2 weeks after counseling. Participants kept a 2-week food diary to document sugar intake. Serum lipid profile and inflammatory cytokines were measured. The experimental group reduced daily sugar intake, 46% versus 11% in the control. Baseline SN-5 scores were significantly worse in the experimental group and normalized to controls after intervention. Inflammatory cytokine levels were not different at baseline, but the experimental group significantly reduced in proinflammatory markers and increased the levels of anti-inflammatory markers after intervention. Our pilot data demonstrate higher sugar consumption may be associated with increased inflammatory stress and sinonasal symptoms. Reducing SSB and controlling inflammation in early childhood may have future health benefits.