Breastfeeding and Atopic Disease
There has been an increased interest in breastfeeding in developed and developing countries during the last decade as a trend toward a healthier lifestyle. Physicians, investigators, and the public are seeking “evidence-based” verification that breastfeeding can prevent the expression of disease. A major health problem in developed countries worldwide is a striking increase in atopic disease during infancy and early childhood. One popular hypothesis called, “the hygiene hypothesis”, has been used to explain this change in disease expression where inadequate colonization of the newborn gut occurs. Colonization acts as a stimulus to the appropriate development of intestinal immune defenses in the newborn to prevent allergic reactions to the introduction of foreign food antigens. Since breastfeeding provides both active and passive protection to the vulnerable newborn against infections and inflammatory diseases and contains oligosaccharides which stimulates the increase in bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (colonizing bacteria), the question that comes up is what role does breastfeeding play in the prevention of allergic reactions (another immune-mediated process).
This webcast reviews the role of breastfeeding in the prevention allergy in normal and allergy-prone neonates. Epidemiologic and clinical studies to support or refute its role are reviewed and presented and evidence to support the potential or actual mechanisms for prevention are considered. As a result, possible recommendations for considering breastfeeding in the prevention of food allergy will be made or new studies suggested to definitively promote its uses.
Below are links to each of the presentations given at the live Symposium held at the American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting in Washington DC on April 30, 2007 presented by The International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML). Each of the links will open the presentation in a new window. System Requirements: You will need Macromedia's Flash player to view these presentations.
This program was made possible in part by Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Nestle Nutrition, Ross Nutrition and Wyeth Nutrition.