Vitamin D and Food Allergies: The VITALITY Trial

1 in 10 babies born in Australian today will have a food allergy. Allergy experts are trying to find the reason why we have such a high rate of food allergy and what we can do to reduce the risk. Imagine if taking a common vitamin helped prevent food allergies? Countries that are further away from the equator, like Australia, have higher food allergy rates. Could Vitamin D be a factor? The VITALITY Trial is hoping to find out.

Tablets and pills shaped into a question mark on a yellow background with text "Food allergy and Vitamin D" the Vitality Study

The VITALITY Trial: Research about preventing food allergies

Researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are investigating the relationship between Vitamin D, food allergies and immune function in infants.

The study recruited parents with new babies (6 to 12 weeks old) who were predominantly breastfed to take part.

Participants’ involvement included:

  • an initial home visit;
  • completing 4 online surveys during baby’s first year;
  • a free allergy test appointment at the Royal Children’s Hospital when their child turned one; and
  • giving babies one drop of either a vitamin supplement or a placebo every day.

You can read more about the VITALITY Trial at the MRCI website.

VITALITY Trial Update

Recruitment for the VITALITY trial has now closed with final data collected in around April 2023. The research team has started analysing samples and surveys. We’ll be watching out for the results of this study with great interest.

As well as finding out more about Vitamin D and the development of food allergies, the VITALITY trial researchers are undertaking a six-year follow-up to explore the effects of vitamin D on eczema, asthma and heart, hearing and developing teeth. Trial participants will be invited back when they turn six for free follow up testing for allergies as well as lung function, dental, hearing and heart health assessments.

Get involved with food allergy research

If you are interested in helping with future food allergy studies, you can find out about studies that are recruiting and register to receive notifcations at the Centre for Food Allergy Research.

Of if you would like to support the amazing work of MCRI’s Centre for Food Allergy Research, check out our allergy fundraising ideas for more information.

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