By Allergen Bureau

Can the Start Eating Early Diet (SEED) prevent infant food allergy?

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a leading US non-governmental organisation engaged in food allergy advocacy, has launched a multi-million dollar, multi-organisational research partnership project called the Start Eating Early Diet (SEED) study.

The SEED study follows on from the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study that was part-funded by FARE and published in 2015. LEAP found that for infants whose eczema and/or egg allergy put them at elevated risk for peanut allergy, introducing peanut foods early and often reduced their likelihood of developing peanut allergy by more than 80 per cent. The SEED study will explore the benefits of early introduction to multiple allergenic foods (specifically peanut, egg, dairy, cashew, soy, almond and sesame) in a more diverse sample of infants.

To address the challenges that limited previous studies, SEED will employ a national survey to assess attitudes, barriers, and needs relating to the early introduction of allergenic foods. A racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of infants will be recruited. Age-appropriate foods and recipes will be provided to infant caregivers to ensure that cost and access do not limit participation. In addition to babies at average risk of food allergy, high-risk infants with eczema will be enrolled in sufficient numbers to precisely evaluate the effectiveness of systematic feeding of multiple allergenic foods for allergy prevention.

For more information about the SEED study, see the related media release.