A new study claims that babies born during the autumn months are more likely to have food allergies. Those born in October and November are almost twice as likely to show a form of food intolerance than those born in June and July.
Some 9.5 percent of autumn babies had an allergic response compared to five percent of summer babies, says a Finnish study. Autumn babies were three times as likely to have an allergy to milk and eggs as summer babies. Researchers believe the variation is due to the foetus’s exposure to pollen at a critical time during pregnancy, according to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
At around the end of the third month the foetus begins to produce antibodies. Pollen appears to trigger the development of a type of antibody known as immunoglobin E, which is well known to be linked to food allergies.
Kaisa Pyrhonen, of the Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Oulu in Finland, wrote: “Children having their early gestational period in the pollen season for broad-leafed trees are more prone to sensitisation to food allergies.” Why pollen exposure appears to trigger immunoglobin E remains unknown. The study looked at 5,920 children born in Finland between April 2001 and March 2006, of which 961 had been tested for food allergies.