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Prevention of allergies, eczema, asthma, in children – Vitamin D during pregnancy is a principal solution – July 2023


Primary Prevention of Allergy - Is It Feasible?

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2023 Jul;15(4):419-436. doi: 10.4168/aair.2023.15.4.419.
Pauline Poh-Lin Chan Ng 1 2, Elizabeth Huiwen Tham 1 2 3, Bee-Wah Lee 4

The allergy epidemic has been attributed to environmental influences related to urbanization and the modern lifestyle. In this regard, various theories exploring the role of microbes (hygiene, old friends, microbiota, and biodiversity hypotheses), and the epithelial barrier (epithelial, dual allergen exposure and vitamin D hypotheses) have been proposed. These hypotheses have guided clinical studies that led to the formulation of intervention strategies during the proposed window of opportunity dubbed as the "first thousand days." The most significant intervention is a paradigm shift from allergen avoidance to early introduction of allergenic foods, particularly egg and peanut, around 6 months of age for the prevention of food allergy. This recommendation has been adopted globally and included in allergy prevention guidelines. Other strategies with less robust clinical evidence include: encouraging a healthy balanced diet, rich in fish, during pregnancy; continuing allergenic food intake during pregnancy and lactation; vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women with asthma; discouraging social indications for caesarean section delivery; judicious use of antibiotics in early childhood; daily emollient use from birth in high risk babies; and avoiding cow's milk formula use in the first week of life. However, if early supplementation with cow's milk formula is required, continuing at least 10 mL of formula daily until age 2 months may be considered. Translating these strategies to public health and clinical practice is still a work in progress. Long-term population studies are crucial to assess the feasibility of these measures on allergy prevention.
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Big differences in allergies in Asian children: Singapore, Australia
Health problem SingaporeAustralia
Food allergy 1.1% 15%
Eczema– early onset8%30%

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