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Dietary prevention of allergic diseases in infants and small children

Part III: Critical review of published peer-reviewed observational and interventional studies and final recommendations*

Authors


  • *

    An extensive review by an expert group set up by the Section on Pediatrics, European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology

Antonella Muraro MD PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Padua, Via Giustiniani 3, 35128 Padua, Italy
Tel.: +39 049 8213505-06, +39 049 8212538
Fax: +39 049 8213509
E-mail: muraro@pediatria.unipd.it

Abstract

The role of primary prevention of allergic diseases has been a matter of debate for the last 40 years. In order to shed some light on this issue, a group of experts of the Section of Pediatrics EAACI reviewed critically the existing literature on the subject. An analysis of published peer-reviewed observational and interventional studies was performed following the statements of evidence as defined by WHO. The results of the analysis indicate that breastfeeding is highly recommended for all infants irrespective of atopic heredity. A dietary regimen is unequivocally effective in the prevention of allergic diseases in high-risk children. In these patients breastfeeding combined with avoidance of solid food and cow's milk for at least 4–6 months is the most effective preventive regimen. In the absence of breast milk, formulas with documented reduced allergenicity for at least 4–6 months should be used.

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