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Home Industry News Eating peanuts ‘may help prevent allergy onset in infants’

Eating peanuts ‘may help prevent allergy onset in infants’

24th February 2015

A new study has suggested that the majority of infants at high risk of peanut allergies could avoid developing the condition if they eat peanuts frequently.

The King's College London research enrolled 640 children aged four to 11 months who were considered at high risk of a peanut allergy due to pre-existing severe eczema and/or egg allergies. Half were asked to eat peanut-containing foods three or more times each week, and the other half to avoid eating peanuts until five years of age.

Less than one percent of those who consumed peanuts developed peanut allergy by the age of five, compared to 17.3 percent of those in the avoidance group. Moreover, the early introduction of peanut-containing foods was found to be safe and well-tolerated.

For many years, public health guidelines have recommended avoiding foods in infant diets that are known cause allergies, such as peanuts, but this new finding turns the conclusion on its head.

Professor Gideon Lack, head of the department of paediatric allergy at King's College London, said: "This is an important clinical development and contravenes previous guidelines. While these were withdrawn in 2008 in the UK and US, our study suggests that new guidelines may be needed to reduce the rate of peanut allergy in our children."

Peanut allergies affect up to one in 50 school age children in the UK, with the occurrence of the condition more than doubling in the last ten years.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801776968-ADNFCR

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