06/22/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Food Allergies: Fall, Winter Babies More Prone

Writing in the Journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, U.S. researchers explain that babies born in the fall or winter have higher rates of food allergies than their spring and summer-born counterparts. They believe this trend is due to the lack of vitamin D, a.k.a. the sunshine vitamin, that fall and winter babies are more likely to be deprived of in their early months.

Dr. Milo Vassallo of Massachusetts General Hospital, and lead author of the study, explains:

Vitamin D helps the body fight infection and suppresses its allergy cells.

"When the body is faced with a molecule of food it has to decide if it's a friend or a foe. Vitamin D contributes to tolerance but reduced levels of vitamin D triggers intolerance in the body," he said.

The researchers discovered nearly a 20% higher instance of hospital-necessitating food allergy conditions among fall and winter babies.