The vitamin D hypothesis exploring food allergy in infants
In 2008 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Gideon Lack, Professor of Paediatric Allergy at King’s College London, wrote that the vitamin D hypothesis is one of the more interesting hypotheses to have been advanced in recent years as an explanation for the increase of asthma and allergies.
Professor Lack speculated that the role of vitamin D in the development of tolerance or allergy to foods might be relevant. He suggested that the most interesting study linking the vitamin D deficiency hypothesis to food allergy was performed by Camargo et al. They found a strong north-south gradient for EpiPen prescriptions in the United States. “There was an inverse association between EpiPen prescription and the incidence of melanoma in the population, suggesting that this north-south effect was due to sunlight exposure,” Professor Lack wrote.
The vitamin D deficiency hypothesis could explain the association between decreased sunlight exposure in the western world and the development of food allergy, and it formed the basis for new Australian research suggesting that vitamin D sufficiency may be an important protective factor for food allergy in the first year of life.