Early-life supplementation of vitamins A and D, in water-soluble form or in peanut oil, and allergic diseases during childhood

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Dec;118(6):1299-304. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.08.022. Epub 2006 Oct 6.


Background: Early vitamin supplementation is given routinely to infants in many countries, but it is unclear whether this affects the risk of allergic diseases.

Objectives: We sought to study the association between early-life supplementation of vitamins A and D in water-soluble form or in peanut oil and allergic diseases up to 4 years of age.

Methods: A prospective birth cohort of 4089 newborn infants was followed for 4 years using parental questionnaires repeatedly to collect information on exposure and health. At 4 years, the response rate was 90%, and allergen-specific IgE levels to food and airborne allergens were measured in 2614 of the participating children.

Results: Vitamins A and D were given to 98% of the children in infancy, and vitamins based in peanut oil dominated (90%). Children supplemented with vitamins A and D in water-soluble form during the first year of life had an almost 2-fold increased risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [OD], 2.18; 95% CI, 1.45-3.28), food hypersensitivity (adjusted OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.33-2.65), and sensitization to common food and airborne allergens (adjusted OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.34-2.64) at age 4 years compared with those receiving vitamins in peanut oil. No increased risk of IgE antibodies to peanut was seen in children receiving vitamins in peanut oil.

Conclusion: Supplementation of vitamins A and D in water-soluble form seems to increase the risk of allergic disease up to the age of 4 years compared with supplementation with the same vitamins given in peanut oil.

Clinical implications: Vitamins A and D in oil does not seem to increase the risk of allergic disease during childhood.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / adverse effects
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Arachis / immunology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / blood
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Peanut Oil
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects*
  • Water / administration & dosage
  • Water / adverse effects*


  • Allergens
  • Peanut Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Water
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Immunoglobulin E