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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;59(1):123-8.

Vitamin C in breast milk may reduce the risk of atopy in the infant.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. ulla.hoppu@utu.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects of maternal dietary and supplement intake of vitamins C and E on breast milk antioxidant composition (vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene) and their protective potential against the development of atopy in the infant.

DESIGN, SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Mothers with atopic disease were recruited at the end of gestation and maternal sensitization was assessed by skin-prick testing. The 4-day food records of the mothers and breast milk samples were collected at the infants' age of 1 month. Infants' atopy was defined by the presence of atopic dermatitis during the first year of life and a positive skin-prick test reaction at 12 months of age (n=34).

RESULTS:

Maternal intake of vitamin C in diet but not as supplement was shown to determine the concentration of vitamin C in breast milk. A higher concentration of vitamin C in breast milk was associated with a reduced risk of atopy in the infant (OR=0.30; 95% CI 0.09-0.94; P=0.038), whereas alpha-tocopherol had no consistent relationship with atopy. The group at risk of suboptimal vitamin C supply from breast milk was identified as infants whose mothers suffer from food hypersensitivity.

CONCLUSION:

A maternal diet rich in natural sources of vitamin C during breastfeeding could reduce the risk of atopy in high-risk infants.

PMID:
15340369
DOI:
10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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