Lack of Vitamin D Causes Food Allergy in Infants

First Posted: Mar 05, 2013 07:22 AM EST

Researchers have detected a strong association between lack of vitamin D and food allergies in children. 

According to the study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, infants with lack of vitamin D were three times more prone to suffer from food allergies. They can even have multiple food allergies. The link was found between lack of vitamin D and eczema.

The study was conducted on 5,276 infants who were 12 months old. In this test, the kids underwent a skin prick test to check whether or not they were allergic to foods like peanuts, sesame and egg white. Apart from this, a blood sample of 780 infants was taken in order to check the serum level of vitamin D.

"This study provides the first direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency may be an important protective factor for food allergy in the first year of life.  This adds supporting evidence for medical correction of low vitamin D levels," lead researcher, professor Katie Allen said in a press statement.

The research showed that those who lived near the Equator were more likely to suffer from food allergies. Those in Australia's southern state were two times more prone to have allergy from peanut at the age of 4 or 5 and three times more prone to suffer an allergy from egg.

She continues to say that the occurrence of food allergy is on the rise, with Australia having the highest occurrence of food allergy in more than 10 percent infants.

The study highlights the importance of vitamin D in the early years of life, as a protective factor.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about four out of every 100 children in the U.S. are victims of food allergy.

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