Medicine

Study says giving newborns peanuts may prevent allergy

Study says giving newborns peanuts may prevent allergy”

Children at moderate risk of such an allergy, defined as those showing signs of mild eczema in infancy, should begin consuming peanut-containing foods at the age of six months.

The prevalence of peanut allergies among children in the USA, other Western countries and parts of Asia and Africa has increased rapidly in recent decades.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the new guidance was "an important step forward". This finding came from the landmark, NIAID-funded Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, a randomized clinical trial involving more than 600 infants. For infants with no family history of allergy or no food allergies themselves, "don't worry", said Fauci: Just give them whatever foods the family prefers. Those at high risk (eg, already have severe eczema and/or egg allergy) should start to consume peanut-containing foods at the age of 4-6 months, whereas infants without eczema or any food allergy can have peanut-containing foods introduced into their diets at any age.

For years, American paediatricians advised avoiding peanuts until age three for children thought to be at risk, a recommendation that was dropped in 2008.

The NIAID said peanut allergies are a growing health problem with no treatment or cure.

The guidelines are meant to help prevent the development of peanut allergy.

Whole peanuts can choke small children and no child under the age of 4 should get whole peanuts, the groups cautioned.

Study says giving newborns peanuts may prevent allergy

And low-risk kids with no eczema or any other known food allergies should go about eating nuts at whatever age their parents deem appropriate, based on preferences and customs.

Prof Alan Boobis, from Imperial College London, said: "The previous view that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods decreases the risk of food allergy is incorrect and. if anything, the exclusion or delayed introduction of specific allergenic foods may increase the risk of allergy to the same foods, including peanut".

But it worked. Camden got a little peanut in the allergist's office and she never developed a peanut allergy.

The new approach was welcomed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Those types of allergies have become endemic across the U.S. If it seems likely that the child is already allergic to peanuts, because of a very large reaction to a skin test for peanut allergies, then the doctor may suggest that the child avoid peanuts altogether, said allergist Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, of Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, who was a co-author of the guidelines. "There will still be some cases - but that number could be significantly reduced by tens of thousands, " he said. The same recommendation suggested some women whose infants were considered at risk of developing an allergy should avoid eating peanuts if they were breastfeeding, and that some women should even avoid peanuts during pregnancy.

"It was scary to have a reaction, but I feel more confident having had the experience", she said.

The National Institute of Health did some testing and determined that introducing peanut products to infants may be a good idea and actually prevent allergies. "If it's not severe, give (peanut-containing foods), but give it at 6 months". A study by McGill University - also released in 2010 - found that 1.93 per cent of Canadian children have a peanut allergy.



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