Vitamin D in pregnancy and early life: the right target for prevention of allergic disease?

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Evaluation of: Weisse et al. Maternal and newborn vitamin D status and its impact on food allergy development in the German LINA cohort study. Allergy 68, 220–228 (2013).

Allergic diseases are the most common chronic disorders of childhood. The alarming trend is that these diseases are expressed early in life and are no longer outgrown in childhood. Over the last 10 years, the rates of food allergy and eczema have continued to increase dramatically in children as part of what appears to be a ‘second wave’ of the allergy epidemic. Although the risk factors for allergic disease are multifactorial, the early onset has implicated lifestyle and environmental factors as significant contributors to this escalating trend. Weisse et al. present supporting evidence for vitamin D being positively associated with children's risk for food allergy or sensitization against food allergens during their first 2 years of life and argue against the use of vitamin D supplements to protect against allergy. Here, the authors provide a mechanistic insight into how high cord blood vitamin D levels can result in increased food allergy risk in children.

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