Prenatal and/or Breastfeeding Food Exposures and Risk of Food Allergies in the Offspring
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- Graham, F., Bégin, P., Paradis, L. et al. Curr Nutr Rep (2015) 4: 250. doi:10.1007/s13668-015-0126-6
The prevalence of food allergies is increasing in westernized societies. Allergen sensitization has been shown to occur very early in childhood, although the exact timing of sensitization is still under investigation. In recent years, studies have shown that the effect of consumption of peanuts during pregnancy could vary depending on mothers’ allergic status. For example, in high-risk mothers (with a background of atopy/food allergies), peanut consumption likely increases peanut allergy risk in offspring. Although several clinical studies have suggested that breastfeeding reduces food allergy, recent studies have shown no preventive benefit of breastfeeding on food allergy development in such high-risk populations. Also, epigenetic phenomena likely play an important role when evaluating the effect of prenatal exposure and breastfeeding on the risk of food allergies.