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BACKGROUND - Timing of solid food introduction in infancy has been associated with several chronic diseases. To explore potential mechanisms, we investigated the relationship between timing of solid food introduction and F2-isoprostanes-a marker of oxidative stress.
METHODS - Urinary F2-isoprostanes were assessed in 336 healthy children aged less than 11.5 y with 1,266 clinic visits (mean = 3.8 visits per child) in the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young. We analyzed the association between F2-isoprostane concentrations and infant diet exposures using linear mixed models adjusted for age, age(2), HLA-DR3/4,DQB1*0302 genotype, first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes, maternal age, maternal education, sex, and exposure to in utero cigarette smoke.
RESULTS - Later solid food introduction was associated with lower F2-isoprostane concentrations in childhood (on average, 0.10 ng/mg per month of age at introduction; estimate: -0.10 (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.18, -0.02) P value = 0.02). Moreover, childhood F2-isoprostane concentrations were, on average, 0.24 ng/mg lower in individuals breastfed at solid food introduction (estimate: -0.24 (95% CI: -0.47, -0.01) P value = 0.04) compared with those who were not. Associations remained significant after limiting analyses to F2-isoprostanes after 2 y of age.
CONCLUSION - Our results suggest a long-term protective effect of later solid food introduction and breastfeeding at solid food introduction against increased F2-isoprostane concentrations throughout childhood.