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Summary

A variety of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the recently described increase in food allergy among children living in developed countries. In this study, we summarize the emerging risk factors for IgE-mediated food allergy in early life, and then review the evidence for and against an association between low vitamin status (VDS) and food allergy. We consider whether each of the epidemiological variables that have been associated with food allergy may also be associated with VDS; and argue that future studies must adequately account for the potential relationships between risk factors for food allergy and VDS, and must also discriminate between vitamin D derived by sun exposure, diet and oral supplementation.