There is no clear evidence that allergen avoidance or delayed introduction of foods has any beneficial effect. A recent study was conducted to assess relationship between food diversity and other allergic diseases. The study included 856 children and included information on feeding during the first year of life from parental diaries. Follow-up questionnaires were used to collect data on the development of asthma, allergic rhinitis, food allergies and atopy up to 6 years of age. Based on a score consisting of six food items, children with a more diverse diet during the first year of life were at lower risk of allergic diseases. This score was inversely associated with asthma risk and food allergy.
There was an increased expression of forkhead box protein 3, a transcription factor for regulatory T cells which led to a decreased expression of IgE. There is a protective effect from a Th1/Th2 balance shift from the induction of regulatory T cells.
Author Saraleen Benouni, MD Dr. Benouni specializes in the treatment of asthma, allergies, atopic dermatitis, and immune disorders for both adults and children. She has presented and published research at national allergy meetings and has authored papers on drug allergies and skin conditions. She is a member of the American College and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the Los Angeles Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology.