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Is low vitamin D status a risk factor for food allergy? Current evidence and future directions

journal contribution
posted on 2015-07-01, 00:00 authored by John Desmond Molloy, A L Ponsonby, K J Allen, M L K Tang, Fiona Collier, Alister WardAlister Ward, J Koplin, Peter VuillerminPeter Vuillermin
Studies from several countries have reported an association between latitudes further from the equator and proxy markers of food allergy prevalence. As latitudes further from the equator are associated with lower sun exposure and vitamin D status (VDS), it has been proposed that low VDS may be a risk factor for food allergy. A range of basic science evidence supports the biological plausibility of this hypothesis; and recent work has identified a cross sectional association between low VDS and challenge proven food allergy in infants. Overall, however, the evidence regarding the relationship between VDS and food allergy remains controversial and the limited longitudinal data are discouraging. In this review we consider the evidence for and against low VDS as a risk factor for food allergy and discuss the possibility that other factors (including genetic variables) may contribute to the inconsistent nature of the available observational evidence. We then discuss whether genetic and/or environmental factors may modify the potential influence of VDS on food allergy risk. Finally, we argue that given the rising burden of food allergy, the balance of available evidence regarding the potential relevance of VDS to this phenomenon, and the inherent limitations of the existing observational data, there is a compelling case for conducting randomised clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of food allergy during early life.

History

Journal

Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume

15

Issue

11

Pagination

944 - 952

ISSN

1389-5575

eISSN

1875-5607

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Bentham Science Publishers