Timing of introduction of gluten into the infant diet

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) Join Statement, March 2011

Background
In 2010, the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency asked the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) to assess the evidence on timing of introduction of gluten into the infant diet and subsequent risk of developing coeliac disease or type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). The request was made in response to the publication of a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) Scientific Opinion on the appropriate age for the introduction of complementary food into infant diets in the EU; this included conclusions that were inconsistent with UK infant feeding advice.

...
Overall currently available evidence on the timing of introduction of gluten into the infant diet and subsequent risk of coeliac disease and T1DM is insufficient to support recommendations about the appropriate timing of introduction of gluten into the infant diet beyond 3 completed months of age, for either the general population or high-risk sub-populations. SACN and COT do not consider the evidence sufficient to support EFSA’s conclusion on the introduction of gluten into the infant diet not later than 6 completed months of age with the aim of reducing the risk of subsequent development of coeliac disease and T1DM.

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