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Monday 18 November 2024 - AGM & Food allergies in infants and breastfed babies

Event description

Presenter: Tamara Lebedevs, (Senior obstetric pharmacist, KEMH)


Session 1: 

Maternal prebiotics dietary supplementation during pregnancy and lactation and infant allergic disease outcomes –
the results of the SYMBA trial.
Maternal ingestion of prebiotics during pregnancy and lactation may have immunomodulatory benefits for the developing infant immune system and provide a potential dietary strategy to reduce the risk of allergic diseases. The aim of the SYMBA trial was to determine whether maternal prebiotics dietary supplementation reduces the risk of allergic outcomes in infants. Pregnant women (n=652) were randomly allocated to consume prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides) or placebo (maltodextrin) powder from <21 weeks gestation until 6-months postnatal during lactation. Eligible women had infants with a first-degree relative with a history of medically diagnosed allergic disease. The results of this double-blinded, randomised controlled trial will be presented. 

Associate Professor Debbie Palmer is a qualified dietitian (BSc, BND) and mid-career researcher (PhD), who has conducted 12 randomised controlled trials investigating nutritional strategies for allergy prevention during pregnancy, lactation, and infancy. The goal of these trials has been to improve the evidence-based dietary recommendations to prevent allergies. These trials have been published in top-quartile ranking journals, including the British Medical Journal (DJ Palmer et al, 2012;344:e184), and the top ranking journal in the allergy field: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (3 trial publications: DJ Palmer et al, 2013;132(2):387-92; DJ Palmer et al, 2017;139(5):1600-7; and K Rueter, …… DJ Palmer (senior author), 2019;143:1012-20), and the evidence generated from these nutritional intervention trials has been translated into national and international allergy prevention guidelines.

Session 2: 

Nut consumption during breastfeeding to prevent allergy.
Early introduction of peanuts into an infants solid food diet has been associated with a lower prevalence of peanut allergy. The BENEFIT pilot study indicated that for breastfeeding families, a maternal diet high in peanuts may prevent peanut allergy in infants. Peanut allergens secreted in breast milk likely aid oral peanut tolerance, which has been shown in animal models. The Nuts for Babies study will recruit 400 breastfeeding mothers who will either consume a high or low peanut and cashew diet. Sixty of these recruited mothers in the high-consumption group will have breast milk samples taken at different time points, which will then be analysed for allergen and immune complex concentrations, macro- and micro-nutrient composition and permeability measures.

Sophie Hughes completed her Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) in 2023 at UWA, where she studied the breast milk microbiome of mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus. She commenced her PhD in 2024 and is supervised by A/Prof Debbie Palmer at Telethon Kids Institute

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