New studies have found that there may be an easy way to protect your child from food allergies.
Want to keep your baby from developing a potentially deadly peanut allergy? Make your child gobble down peanuts, a new study says.
Two new studies have found that feeding babies peanuts or other allergy-causing foods can protect them from those allergies to begin with, according to a statement from the Benaroya Research Initiative.
Early prevention appears to be key to preventing children from developing food allergies, and the allergy protection lasts at least through the age of 5. The studies even found that you could stop feeding them peanuts for a year and it would be OK.
In the second study, scientists found that this strategy could work with other foods that often cause allergies, such as eggs.
Food allergies are no joke: they can be deadly, especially for children, and they affect up to 8 percent of kids under the age of 3.
“The … findings exceeded our expectations and demonstrated that the early consumption of peanuts provided stable and sustained protection against the development of peanut allergy in children at greatest risk for this allergy,” Dr. Gideon Lack from Kings College London said in the statement. “This protective effect occurred irrespective of whether the children completely avoided peanut for one year or continued to eat it sporadically.”
He added: “We are grateful to the children and their families who participated in this important trial. We believe this new information will inform the public health debate on infant guidelines and shed light on the mechanisms that underpin the induction of oral tolerance.”
Dr. Gerald Nepom, Director of the Immune Tolerance Network, said that the study offers “reassurance” that eating foods that contain peanuts is safe after “successful tolerance therapy,” adding: “The immune system appears to remember and sustain its tolerant state, even without continuous regular exposure to peanuts.”