Do your children suffer from peanut allergies? Think back to when they were infants. How much did you expose them to peanuts then?
It’s a vital question in light of recent research that shows how important it is to expose your children to peanuts at a young age to avoid the development of peanut-related allergies later on in life. Out of 540 infants tested with eczema, severe egg allergies or both up until they were 60 months of age, peanut allergies were found in 13.7% of the children who had avoided peanuts altogether, compared to 1.9% in the group that had been eating peanuts. That’s a big difference!
What this research shows is that giving peanuts to young children – especially during the early years – definitely lowers the risk of developing peanut allergies as it helps them tolerate it and adapt to having it often. This is especially important for those who have a family history of peanut allergies – so if you’re just about to have a baby and know it’s a risk factor, keep this research in mind! It could save your family from repeating another cycle of peanut allergies.
The prevalence of peanut allergies in Western countries has actually doubled in the past 10 years – so this is important information to help us curb peanut allergies for the next generation. I look forward to seeing this strategy reduce this number in the future!
Source: N Engl J Med 2015; 372:803-813, February 26, 2015. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1414850