Pediatra di libera scelta, Pederobba (Treviso); Pediatri per un Mondo Possibile, Associazione Culturale Pediatri
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Key words: Organic food, Conventional food, Micronutrients, Antioxidants, Pesticides
In Italy organic food consumption is particularly increasing amongst the younger families that feel it safer and healthier when compared to the conventional food. To assess whether paediatricians should encourage this trend, a literature review was performed to find out to which extent the organic food may be beneficial to the child’s health. The most recent systematic reviews, selected by Medline and Cochrane Library, which compare the concentration of nutrients and harmful substances (mainly pesticides) in the organic and conventional food, were identified and analysed. The main risks that derive from exposure to pesticides through the diet were also reviewed. Although there is no evidence that organic food is healthier than the conventional one, conventional food contains higher pesticide concentrations than organic food. Since diet is the main exposure route to pesticides in most children, organic food may represent some advantages for the child’s health and should be supported by paediatricians.
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