Recommendations and guidelines on the prevention of food allergy have changed in recent decades. The aim of this review of the current evidence and ongoing studies is to provide a comprehensive and up to date picture of prevention of food allergy for healthcare professionals. The review was undertaken as part of the European Union funded Integrated Approaches to Food Allergy and Allergen Management (iFAAM) study. This is a wide ranging project bringing together expertise across the breadth of food allergy research. Specifically, the review discusses dietary manipulation in food allergy prevention, and covers the possible preventive strategies of allergen avoidance, early allergen introduction, general nutrition and supplements, as well as other strategies, such as prebiotics and probiotics. The review concludes that despite agreement that allergen avoidance strategies should not be undertaken for allergy prevention, there is currently no consensus regarding what actions should be recommended beyond exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4–6 months of life. Recent and upcoming trial results, which are detailed in this review, should help inform the debate and add clarity to the topic.
- Infant Feeding
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KG and KL contributed equally.
Contributors GR, KG and KL planned the manuscript. All authors contributed to drafting the manuscript and reviewing the final version.
Funding This work was supported by the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 312147 (iFAAM).
Competing interests MK, KB, GL, CM and GR received funding from the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 312147 (iFAAM). KG provided educational material for Danone. GR provided scientific advice to Danone, ALK-Abello and ThermoFisher. CM has board memberships with Novartis and the UK Food Safety Agency, and is a consultant for PepsiCo International. KB has received funding for research activities from Danone, ThermoFisher and DST Diagnostics. MK has received a grant from Danone Nutricia.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.