Breastfeeding and Food Allergy

  • Scott P. ComminsEmail author


Breast milk is a living source of nutrition for babies and is currently recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Breast milk complements a baby’s immune system, supplementing undeveloped defenses with immune factors while also creating the foundation for both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Such immune development includes tolerance of the environment and, in the case of food allergy, formation of an IgE antibody response. Breast milk was thought to be protective against food allergy, and recent research with mice strengthens this paradigm. This chapter reviews the immature immune system, the immunology and nutrition of breast milk, the literature exploring breast milk and food allergy, and the current recommendations regarding breast milk and the prevention of food allergy.


Breast milk Breast fed Newborn immune system Food allergy 



Scott Commins: NIH grant support; UpToDate author; Genentech speaker’s bureau.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North Carolina School of MedicineDepartment of Medicine and PediatricsChapel HillUSA

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