Pediatricians and pediatric allergists have often observed that food sensitivities occur much more frequently in the first few months of life than in later infancy, childhood, and adult life. It is assumed that a physiological immunologic immaturity exists in the early months of life that results in sensitization and clinical symptoms caused by absorption from the intestinal tract of unaltered proteins in potentially allergic children. A potentially allergic child is a child who has at least one allergic parent or sibling.1
Evidence that infants absorb unaltered protein from the gastrointestinal tract is well established.2 Actually, as Walzer3 has indicated, this takes place qualitatively at all ages; quantitative studies have not been made. In the late 1920's Glaser1 observed frequent intolerance of egg yolk in infants when the food was introduced at the age of three months and rare intolerance when the food was introduced at the
Glaser J, Johnstone DE. PROPHYLAXIS OF ALLERGIC DISEASE IN THE NEWBORN. JAMA. 1953;153(7):620–622. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940240012003
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.