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Food allergy: the perspectives of prevention using vitamin D

Peroni, Diego G.; Boner, Attilio L.

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: June 2013 - Volume 13 - Issue 3 - p 287–292
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328360ed9c
FOOD ALLERGY: Edited by Alessandro Fiocchi and Julie Wang

Purpose of review: We reviewed the scientific publications in the last 2 years on the connections between vitamin D and food allergy, and endeavor to focus on the possible indications for supplementation in order to prevent allergies.

Recent findings: Ecological studies have suggested a possible relationship between sun exposure and atopic diseases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis and anaphylaxis. However, no direct evaluation of vitamin D status has been performed. Recent studies evaluating the relationship with vitamin D levels at birth or during pregnancy have shown conflicting results with the lower levels of vitamin D associated with eczema, the higher with increased food allergy prevalence.

Summary: Although the role of vitamin D in extraskeletal function is certainly intriguing and must not be underestimated, at the moment there is a lack of consistent data addressing the topic of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of food allergies. However, in light of the vast amount of literature regarding the mechanisms connected with atopic diseases, an evaluation of serum levels of vitamin D and eventually supplementation must be considered as a further opportunity to understand and treat atopic diseases. In this regard, well designed trials on vitamin D supplementation to prevent food allergies are urgently needed.

Pediatric Department, University of Verona Hospital, Verona, Italy

Correspondence to Professor Diego G. Peroni, Pediatric Department, Ospedale G.B.Rossi, 37134 Verona, Italy. Tel: +39 45 8126884; fax: +39 45 8124790; e-mail: diego.peroni@univr.it

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