Feeding Babies Peanut Products Reduces Allergy Risk, New Study Reveals

According to a recent study, children who are fed peanut goods as babies and toddlers had a significantly lower chance of developing a peanut allergy as teenagers.

A study co-sponsored and supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health found that children who ate peanut products from birth until age five had a 71% lower risk of developing a peanut allergy by the time they were thirteen.

The research expands on a 2015 study that found newborns who were fed at least 6 grams of peanut protein per week had a significantly lower risk of developing peanut allergies than infants who were fed nothing but peanut products. The new study was published on Tuesday in the medical journal NEJM Evidence.

The director of NIAID, Jeanne Marrazzo, stated that the study “turns our traditional thinking about food allergy on its head.”

“Traditionally, all of our intervention has been built on avoidance – don’t let your kid go near peanuts if there’s any sign,” of potential allergy,” Marrazzo stated.

However, she said that the latest study is a “game changer” since it shows that if kids eat peanut products from four to six months of age through age five, they can develop immunity against peanut allergy.

According to her, tens of thousands of young children’s cases of peanut allergy might be avoided by consuming peanut goods at such an early age.

In 2015, almost 600 high-risk newborns were enrolled in the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy research. Among those kids, half ate peanut products from birth to age five.

The other half shunned goods containing peanuts. According to the study, consuming peanut products at a young age decreased the likelihood of developing a peanut allergy by 81%.

The aim of the current study was to determine if children who opted to consume peanut products in any amount would continue to benefit from this early protection throughout adolescence. When early study revealed that a child was allergic, they were advised to stay away from peanuts.

More than 500 kids who were enrolled in the initial study were examined by the research team; 255 of them ate peanuts, and 253 didn’t.

Kids were watched while they consumed at least 5 grams of peanut goods, which is more than 20 peanuts. Researchers found that compared to the group that avoided peanuts, the group that routinely ate peanuts in their early years had a 71% lower chance of developing a peanut allergy in adolescence.

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The quantity and frequency of peanut consumption in both groups, according to the researchers, differed greatly. Put another way, even if they did not continue to eat peanuts regularly into early adolescence, children who ate them throughout their formative years would still be protected.

Food Allergy Research & Education is a nonprofit organization led by Sung Poblete, whose mission is to enhance the health and quality of life for people with food allergies.

The current study, according to Poblete, is “hugely important” since it demonstrates the potential of food as a preventive medicine.

But according to Poblete, parents have been hesitant to include peanuts in their kids’ meals, maybe as a result of contradictory advice over the years.

“We say eat early, eat often, and that’s exactly what this research demonstrates,” Poblete stated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advised against consuming peanuts until the child was three years old in 2000. The group withdrew its recommendation to introduce peanuts to children before the age of three in 2008.

The pediatricians group stated in a 2019 update that there is “no evidence” that avoiding foods like fish, eggs, and peanuts for longer than four to six months can prevent illness. The revised guidelines stated, “There is now evidence that peanut allergy may be prevented by early introduction of peanuts.”


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