[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increase in allergic disease prevalence has led to heightened interest in the factors determining allergy risk, fueled by the hope that by influencing these factors one could reduce the prevalence of allergic conditions. The most important modifiable risk factors for allergy are maternal smoking behaviour and the type of feeding. A smoke-free environment for the child (to be), exclusive breastfeeding for 4-6 months and the postponement of supplementary feeding (solids) until 4 months of age are the main measures considered effective. There is no place for restricted diets during pregnancy or lactation. Although meta-analyses suggest that hypoallergenic formula after weaning from breastfeeding grants protection against the development of allergic disease, the evidence is limited and weak. Moreover, all current feeding measures aiming at allergy prevention fail to show effects on allergic manifestations later in life, such as asthma. In conclusion, the allergy preventive effect of dietary interventions in infancy is limited. Counselling of future parents on allergy prevention should pay attention to these limitations.
European Journal of Pediatrics 02/2010; 169(8):911-7. · 1.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We provide a critical appraisal of the literature on the effects of dietary prevention of atopic disease in children. In our view, currently available studies suffer from lack of blinding which is a major problem if the primary end point is subjective (such as the diagnosis of eczema). In addition, long-term follow-up suggests that atopic symptoms are delayed rather than truly prevented, and that only the mildest cases are prevented (or delayed). Although it has been reported that cow's milk allergy is truly prevented by dietary interventions in early life, this has never been demonstrated by double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges. No studies to date have shown effects of hypoallergenic formulae on objective markers of atopic sensitization, such as specific IgE levels. Finally, there is no universally accepted pathophysiological mechanism which could explain the usefulness of hypoallergenic formulae in allergy prevention. In conclusion, we feel that the currently available evidence on the allergy preventive effects of hypoallergenic formulae is insufficient to justify blanket advice being given to 'high risk' families. Such advice gives parents the hope that they can actually prevent allergy in their children which may not be justified. A cautious approach in advising interventions with hypoallergenic formulae to prevent allergy in high-risk infants is warranted.
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 10/2007; 18(6):475-9. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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