Does diet during pregnancy and lactation influence the risk of allergy?
There have been suggestions that a baby’s chance of developing food intolerance can be reduced if the mother restricts her diet during pregnancy or while she is breastfeeding. However, unless the prevailing view is that unless there is a strong family history of atopic disease the benefits are not convincing46 It has also been suggested that restricting the growing baby’s exposure to allergens is precisely the thing to be avoided. In babies and young children development of specific antibodies to environmental allergens, especially those encountered in early life, is a normal physiological response by which tolerance to the environment is developed. It may be that the tiny amounts encountered via the mother are precisely the quantities required to trigger the normal immune response–namely, tolerance. Nevertheless, it is recognised that very young children are particularly vulnerable as they are born with an underdeveloped immune system. Consequently, as a precautionary measure, the g