The prevalence of atopic diseases, including atopic dermatitis, food allergy, gastrointestinal food allergy, asthma, and allergic rhinitis, has significantly increased in recent years. Many risk factors have been implicated and the possibility of modifying some of these factors through nutritional interventions has sparked great interest. Breast-feeding and use of hypoallergenic formulas have been shown to provide some protective effects against the development of atopy in high-risk infants. In addition, the timing of solid food introduction to infants may play a role in the development of allergy for some. Based on these findings, the American Academy of Pediatrics has established guidelines for feeding infants who are at high risk for developing allergies, including exclusive breast-feeding in the first year, use of hydrolyzed formulas if supplementation is necessary, delayed introduction of solids until 6 months of age, and consideration of maternal dietary avoidance of certain allergenic foods during pregnancy and lactation
Update on where we stand with diet and other factors influencing allergy in infants
Julie Wang, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Jaffe Institute of Food Allergy.
Hugh A. Sampson, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Immunobiology, Chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, and Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Corresponding author: Hugh A. Sampson, MD, Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Jaffe Institute of Food Allergy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).