Immunology and Allergy: Early introduction to allergenic foods effectively prevents food allergies


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Despite overall low adherence to the early introduction regimen, early introduction to allergenic solids was found to be effective in preventing the development of food allergies in specific groups of infants; those sensitized to food at enrollment and those with eczema of increasing severity at enrollment.

These results originate from “Efficacy of the EAT study amongst infants at high risk of developing food allergy,”children with sensitization to one or more of the six allergenic foods at enrollment who were part of the EIG developed less food allergies (19.2%) than children with food sensitization at enrollment who were not introduced to foods early (34.2%).

These results emerged despite low adherence, which appeared most prominent among families with increased maternal age, non-white ethnicity and lower enrollment maternal quality of life, according to “Factors influencing adherence in a trial of early introduction of allergenic food,” If early introduction to certain allergenic foods became a part of these recommendations.

Amongst infants sensitized to peanut at enrollment, 33.3% of such infants in the SIG developed a peanut allergy versus 14.3% in the EIG. Amongst infants who were sensitized to egg at enrollment, egg allergy developed in 48.7% in the SIG compared to 20.0% of EIG participants. “but we did find there to be significant differences in the rates of allergy to peanuts and eggs. In terms of sesame, wheat, cow’s milk and fish, we didn’t see enough instances of allergy to perform any subgroup analyses.

The EAT study has provided us with a wealth of data that is still being analyzed more research about early introduction of specific food allergens continues, we will get closer to new early introduction recommendations that will hopefully help to prevent food allergies in the future.”

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