Giving allergenic foods to infants from three months old may prevent allergies

A major new study for the Food Standards Agency (FSA)  which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that introducing allergenic foods to the infant diet from three months of age may be effective in food allergy prevention if the recommended quantity of allergenic food was consumed. 

The study included 1,300 infants from England and Wales. These were split into two groups, one group exclusively breastfed for six months while the second group, in addition to breastfeeding were asked to introduce six allergenic foods from the age of three months. The allergenic foods introduced to these infants were: fish, cooked egg, milk, wheat, sesame and peanut. Both groups were followed up at 12 months and again at three years of age.

Breastfeeding rates were the same in both groups with more than 96% of infants still being breastfed at six months of age and over 50% in both groups at one year of age. 

This research found that the early introduction of allergenic foods alongside breastfeeding was both safe and demonstrated a significant reduction in food allergy prevalence in those that consumed sufficient amounts of allergenic foods from three months compared to those encouraged to follow the UK infant feeding advice of around six months exclusive breastfeeding. The safety of the infants was closely monitored throughout the study.

Posted: 09/03/2016 09:08:43 by Laura Keaver


 

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