Breastfeeding and allergy development in children
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Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A42
Breastfeeding is proven the most advantageous source of nutrition for infants, the young developing organisms. The benefits of human milk refer to its nutrients contents ,its composition and its impact to the psychological development of the infants. The transformation of various Immunological factors from the mother to the infants is related with protection from infections and diseases with Immunological dysfunction ( Diabetes millions type I, coeliac disease, graft rejection). Allergy, the pandemic of the modern world is linked to time of exposure to allergens in relation to immune system development.

Antigens in human milk:
Food antigens in human milk are negligible in comparison to infant powder milk. In addition, neonates are unable to process antigens. In addition , the antigens offered to the breastfeeding neonates are already processed at the maternal gut. The question that is addressed is if human milk is in favor of tolerance development, instead of allergy. International literature provides us with contradictory results.

Literature review:
In a review article by J.van Odijk et al it was concluded that exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk for asthma and respiratory wheeze of atopic dermatitis. Friedman et al in a review article, presented studies with contradictory results, nevertheless with a lot of biased data. A significant prospective study from Sweden revealed that breastfeeding for at least 4 months is related with decreased risk for wheeze, asthma, atopic dermatitis and multiple allergic manifestations. The factors related with the development of tolerance and breastfeeding.
  1. The presence of antigens in a processed form and in negligible quantity.
  2. The presence of tolerance including molecules and in balance with inflammatory factors.
  3. The gut flora and the permeability of the gut epithelium.

Human milk a complex somatic fluid that is offering to the infant nutritional factors, passive immunity and elements contributing to the development of its own immune system. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 months seems to be protective for the development of atopic dermatitis and wheeze. The transformation of antigens via the breast milk to the infant contributes to its own immure system development and tolerance induction. Breastfeeding should be encouraged for infants and especially for those with increased risk for atopic manifestations.

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