Are breastfed infants less likely to develop food allergies as adults than formula-fed infants?

Last updated: February 20, 2022
There is no consensus in the literature on this question. We encourage you to read the study summaries below or the studies themselves if you have access.
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong. For medical questions, don't rely on the information here. Consult a medical professional.
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YES ANSWERS
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NO ANSWERS
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NO DATA ON ANSWER


Chart summary of 3 studies examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Couldn't Identify means that State of K was not able to determine whether a study answers the question "yes" or "no". This could be due to several factors. One possibility is that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This often happens when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). Yet another possibility is that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. Finally, the full text or abstract of a study may not have been written clearly or was inaccessible. This would make it difficult to determine how a study answered a question.

All labels of Literature Reviews and source quality are assigned by State of K. All labels of High Quality Source are assigned based on whether the publication in which the article appeared was ranked as Q1 by Scimago Institutions Rankings. Certain well-regarded think tanks are also given this label.

Literature Reviews
Although we recommend you consider all of the studies below, we believe the following studies are literature reviews, which survey and evaluate many studies on this question:

SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 3
Sorted by publication year
1
Food allergy prevention in children: An overview
"The increasing prevalence of food allergies in developed and developing countries has raised many questions about that in scientific societies. This prevalence made researchers eager to understand the steps taken to prevent food allergies in children. Children's food allergies are often thought to be the result of exposure to allergens during pregnancy, lactation, and nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D. in this review, we collected and reviewed new studies about nutritional strategies to prevent food allergies in children. Studies have shown that eliminating food from the mother's diet during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended. Also, despite the many benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for infancy, there is still limited evidence to support food allergy prevention with breastfeeding. Introducing solid foods at 4-6 months of age may reduce the risk of developing allergies in children; therefore, it is not suggested to delay the introduction of food. Also, introducing peanuts and boiled eggs earlier than 12 months of age can reduce the risk of some allergies. There is little evidence to support using a hydrolyzed formula and vitamin D supplement to prevent food allergies. Nutritional interventions to prevent food allergies still have many ambiguous questions; however, it can be said that avoidance of allergenic foods is not suggested, and exposure to foods can induce tolerance."
AUTHOR
Hadi Monji
PUBLISHED
2020 Food & Health Journal
Literature Review
No
No
2
Breastfeeding and Food Allergy
"Breast milk is a living source of nutrition for babies and is currently recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Breast milk complements a baby’s immune system, supplementing undeveloped defenses with immune factors while also creating the foundation for both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Such immune development includes tolerance of the environment and, in the case of food allergy, formation of an IgE antibody response. Breast milk was thought to be protective against food allergy, and recent research with mice strengthens this paradigm. This chapter reviews the immature immune system, the immunology and nutrition of breast milk, the literature exploring breast milk and food allergy, and the current recommendations regarding breast milk and the prevention of food allergy."
AUTHOR
Scott P. Commins
PUBLISHED
2020 Pediatric Food Allergy
Literature Review
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify
3
Infant Milk-Feeding Practices and Food Allergies, Allergic Rhinitis, Atopic Dermatitis, and Asthma Throughout the Life Span: A Systematic Review
"Abstract: ABSTRACT Background During the Pregnancy and Birth to 24 Months Project, the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services initiated a review of evidence on diet and health in these populations. Objectives The aim of these systematic reviews was to examine the relation of 1) never versus ever feeding human milk, 2) shorter versus longer durations of any human milk feeding, 3) shorter versus longer durations of exclusive human milk feeding prior to infant formula introduction, 4) feeding a lower versus higher intensity of human milk to mixed-fed infants, and 5) feeding a higher intensity of human milk by bottle versus breast with food allergies, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma. Methods The Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review team conducted systematic reviews with external experts. We searched CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, and PubMed for articles published between January 1980 and March 2016, dual-screened the results according to predetermined criteria, extracted data from and assessed the risk of bias for each included study, qualitatively synthesized the evidence, developed conclusion statements, and graded the strength of the evidence. Results The systematic reviews numbered 1–5 above included 44, 35, 1, 0, and 0 articles, respectively. Moderate, mostly observational, evidence suggests that 1) never versus ever being fed human milk is associated with higher risk of childhood asthma, and 2) among children and adolescents who were fed human milk as infants, shorter versus longer durations of any human milk feeding are associated with higher risk of asthma. Limited evidence does not suggest associations between 1) never versus ever being fed human milk and atopic dermatitis in childhood or 2) the duration of any human milk feeding and allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis in childhood. Conclusions Moderate evidence suggests that feeding human milk for short durations or not at all is associated with higher childhood asthma risk. Evidence on food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis is limited."
AUTHOR
Darcy Güngör
PUBLISHED
2019 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Literature Review
High Quality Source
No
No