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Food allergy and anaphylaxis – 2052. Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with challenge-proven food allergy in infants


Epidemiological evidence has shown pediatric food allergy is more prevalent in regions further from the Equator, suggesting vitamin D insufficiency may play a role in this disease. We investigated the role of vitamin D status in infantile food allergy.


A population sample of 5,276 one-year-old infants underwent skin prick testing to peanut, egg, sesame and cow’s milk/shellfish. All of those with a detectable wheal, and a random sample of skin prick test negative participants, attended a hospital-based food challenge clinic. Blood samples were available for 577 infants (344 with challenge-proven food allergy; 74 sensitizated but tolerant to food challenge; 159 negative both on skin prick and food challenge). Serum 25(OH) D levels were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Associations between serum 25(OH) D and food allergy were examined using multiple logistic regression, adjusting for potential risk and confounding factors.


Infants of Australian-born parents, but not of parents born overseas, with vitamin D insufficiency (<50 nM/L) were more likely to be peanut (aOR 12.22, 95% CI 2.55, 58.61, p=0.002) and/or egg (aOR 7.26, 95% CI 2.52, 20.91, p<0.001) allergic than those with adequate vitamin D levels. Those with vitamin D insufficiency were more likely to have multiple (≥ 2) than single food allergies (aOR 16.29, 95%CI 4.07, 65.27 vs aOR 2.72, 95%CI 0.45, 16.23 respectively) independent of eczema status.


These results provide the first direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency may be an important protective factor for food allergy in the first year of life.

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Correspondence to Katie Allen.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Allen, K., Koplin, J., Ponsonby, AL. et al. Food allergy and anaphylaxis – 2052. Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with challenge-proven food allergy in infants. World Allergy Organ J 6, P135 (2013).

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  • Tandem Mass
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Food Allergy
  • Skin Prick Test
  • Epidemiological Evidence