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Late food introductions increase allergy risk

December 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Starting a child late on certain foods could increase his or her risk of developing allergies.Researchers in Finland found that children introduced to certain foods later were more likely to become sensitized to them.

Pediatricians have long recommended that babies be breastfed exclusively until they are six-months-old. Now there is evidence that the strategy could increase a child's likelihood of developing allergies.

Researchers followed close to 1,000 children who were participating in a diabetes prevention study. They found late introduction of some foods increased the likelihood that the child would be sensitized to that food by the time he or she was five-years-old, whether or not the parents had allergies themselves.

The relationship was the strongest for eggs introduced after 10.5 months, oats introduced after five months and wheat introduced after six months.


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