Can early life interventions prevent food allergies?

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Ertuğrul A., UYSAL SOYER Ö.

Turkish Journal of Pediatrics, vol.65, no.5, pp.709-718, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.24953/turkjped.2023.223
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Pediatrics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.709-718
  • Keywords: allergy, child, food allergy, prevention
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background. The incidence of food allergies is increasing all over the world. Prevention strategies intend to reduce food sensitization risk and subsequent allergies. In this review, we will discuss the recent data concerning different geographic regions for the prevention of food allergies in children. Methods. This review provides recommendations for the prevention of food allergies based on the recent data available in the PUBMED database in English (up to December 2022). Results. The best strategy to prevent food allergies is regarded as the early introduction of allergenic foods to an infant’s diet. A healthy and diverse diet is recommended for infants and their mothers, in accordance with the family’s eating habits and regional food culture, rather than avoiding certain foods or using supplements. Avoiding common food allergens in the maternal diet during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding is not recommended. Exclusive breastfeeding is generally recommended for all mothers for at least 6 months. There is no specific association between exclusive breastfeeding and the primary prevention of any specific food allergy. Where a breastmilk substitute is needed, the best alternative should be chosen according to the infant’s nutritional needs. There is no substantial evidence to support the use of hydrolyzed or soy formula in infancy against food allergies or sensitization. Conclusions. Feeding patterns in infancy play an important role in the risk of developing food allergies. Existing strategies to prevent allergies are relatively ineffective and further research is needed to figure out strategies for food allergy prevention, particularly in high-risk infants.