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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008 Feb;19(1):1-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2007.00680.x.

Dietary prevention of allergic diseases in infants and small children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.

Abstract

Because of scientific fraud four trials have been excluded from the original Cochrane meta-analysis on formulas containing hydrolyzed protein for prevention of allergy and food intolerance in infants. Unlike the conclusions of the revised Cochrane review the export group set up by the Section on Paediatrics, European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SP-EAACI) do not find that the exclusion of the four trials demands a change of the previous recommendations regarding primary dietary prevention of allergic diseases. Ideally, recommendations on primary dietary prevention should be based only on the results of randomized and quasi-randomized trials (selection criteria in the Cochrane review). However, regarding breastfeeding randomization is unethical, Therefore, in the development of recommendations on dietary primary prevention, high-quality systematic reviews of high-quality cohort studies should be included in the evidence base. The study type combined with assessment of the methodological quality determines the level of evidence. In view of some methodological concerns in the Cochrane meta-analysis, particularly regarding definitions and diagnostic criteria for outcome measures and inclusion of non peer-reviewed studies/reports, a revision of the Cochrane analysis may seem warranted. Based on analysis of published peer-reviewed observational and interventional studies the results still indicate that breastfeeding is highly recommended for all infants irrespective of atopic heredity. A dietary regimen is effective in the prevention of allergic diseases in high-risk infants, particularly in early infancy regarding food allergy and eczema. The most effective dietary regimen is exclusively breastfeeding for at least 4-6 months or, in absence of breast milk, formulas with documented reduced allergenicity for at least the first 4 months, combined with avoidance of solid food and cow's milk for the first 4 months.

PMID:
18199086
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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