Primary prevention of allergic disease through nutritional interventions

David M. Fleischer*, Jonathan M. Spergel, Amal H. Assa'ad, Jacqueline A. Pongracic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


With the rising prevalence of atopic disease, primary prevention may play a role in reducing its burden, especially in high-risk infants. With this in mind, the Adverse Reactions to Foods Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was charged with the task of developing recommendations for primary care physicians and specialists about the primary prevention of allergic disease through nutritional interventions according to current available literature and expert opinion. Recommendations that are supported by data are as follows. Avoidance diets during pregnancy and lactation are not recommended at this time, but more research is necessary for peanut. Exclusive breast-feeding for at least 4 and up to 6 months is endorsed. For high-risk infants who cannot be exclusively breast-fed, hydrolyzed formula appears to offer advantages to prevent allergic disease and cow's milk allergy. Complementary foods can be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age. Because no formal recommendations have been previously provided about how and when to introduce the main allergenic foods (cow's milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish), these are now provided, and reasons to consider allergy consultation for development of a personalized plan for food introduction are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Atopy
  • Breast-feeding
  • Complementary food introduction
  • Food allergy
  • Infant formula
  • Lactation
  • Primary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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