Document Detail

The importance of early complementary feeding in the development of oral tolerance: concerns and controversies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18266825     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Rising rates of food allergies in early childhood reflect increasing failure of early immune tolerance mechanisms. There is mounting concern that the current recommended practice of delaying complementary foods until 6 months of age may increase, rather than decrease, the risk of immune disorders. Tolerance to food allergens appears to be driven by regular, early exposure to these proteins during a 'critical early window' of development. Although the timing of this window is not clear in humans, current evidence suggests that this is most likely to be between 4 and 6 months of life and that delayed exposure beyond this period may increase the risk of food allergy, coeliac disease and islet cell autoimmunity. There is also evidence that other factors such as favourable colonization and continued breastfeeding promote tolerance and have protective effects during this period when complementary feeding is initiated. This discussion paper explores the basis for concern over the current recommendation to delay complementary foods as an approach to preventing allergic disease. It will also examine the growing case for introducing complementary foods from around 4 months of age and maintaining breastfeeding during this early feeding period, for at least 6 months if possible.
Susan L Prescott; Peter Smith; Mimi Tang; Debra J Palmer; John Sinn; Sophie J Huntley; Barbara Cormack; Ralf G Heine; Robert A Gibson; Maria Makrides
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2008-02-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1399-3038     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatr Allergy Immunol     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-08-20     Completed Date:  2008-11-12     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9106718     Medline TA:  Pediatr Allergy Immunol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  375-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Paediatrics and Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Allergens / administration & dosage,  adverse effects,  immunology*
Breast Feeding
Child Development
Colic / immunology,  prevention & control
Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*,  prevention & control
Gastroesophageal Reflux / immunology,  prevention & control
Immune Tolerance / immunology*
Infant Food
Infant Formula / administration & dosage
Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / immunology*
Infant, Newborn
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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