Question Science on egg allergy risks in infants raised vegan

P

Pete

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Hi there,

My wife and I are vegan and are about to add one to the family. We are very aware of nutrition, diet and are healthy adults. We are keen to find out if there is any conclusive science on whether there is a risk to children raised vegan from birth of developing egg allergies? And should this be a concern to new parents who are vegan and raising vegan infants?

There are plenty of studies having looked at egg allergies and introducing eggs vs not introducing eggs, along with studies looking at the time at which eggs are introduced. I wrote to Dr. Greger and a kind commenter provided the following, but it's not conclusive enough for me - still rather vague. Commenter's comments in italics below:

There is some evidence that the early introduction of egg into children's diets may reduce allergy risk but other studies have found no effect.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160920112328.htm
Egg allergy: An update - Tan - 2013 - Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health - Wiley Online Library

There is even some evidence that having a "vegan" mother reduces the risk of egg allergy but this evidence is not conclusive." I base this claim upon the following statement in the article:

"Allergy to hen’s egg usually presents in the second half of the first year of life, with a median age of presentation of 10 months [30]. This reflects the typical age of the first dietary exposure to egg. It has been shown that most reactions occur upon first known exposure to egg, particularly in sensitized children with atopic dermatitis [31, 32]. The development of sensitization in these patients may be due to exposure in utero [33] or via exposure to egg proteins through maternal breast milk [34, 35]. Mouse models suggest that sensitization may also occur via epicutaneous exposure (prior to gut mucosa exposure) and may play a role in the development of atopic dermatitis and asthma [36, 37]."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

In Western countries, 'vegan' mothers are perhaps the least likely to expose their children to hen's egg proteins either in utero or via breast milk. Nor is it likely that they would do so epicutaneously. However, you must be the judge of whether this inference is a reasonable one.

I have reached out to UWA here in Australia as they have been conducting number of tests (STEP and QUEST, for example) into egg allergies specifically, but there have been no vegan or even veggie participants or variables introduced. Does anyone here have any science around this? It feels like a subject that's not really touched on, but due to the impact of anaphylaxis in infants, I would have thought there would be more material available.

Look forward to input/suggestions.

Many thanks.
 

Andy_T

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Interesting, never had heard about egg allergy before.
So I did some research how often this happens.
This article suggests that about 0.5% to 2.5% of young children suffer from it.

So, to me that seems to be a small risk.
I personally definitely would not use this as a reason to add egg to the menu of an otherwise vegan child.