Nearly 15 years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents of children at risk of developing peanut allergies to avoid peanut products completely until age 3. Those recommendations were revised in 2008 to state that there is no evidence that avoidance of these foods would help to prevent allergies.
A new study published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” goes even further to suggest introducing peanut products to infants can actually prevent the development of a peanut allergy as a child gets older.
The study, held in London, followed over 500 patients aged 4 to 11 months old over the course of 5 years. Half of the participants were fed a diet rich in peanut protein, while the other half were told to avoid peanuts entirely. Those who consumed peanut products were 80% less-likely to develop a peanut allergy.
It’s estimated that nearly 400,000 school-aged children in the United States currently have a peanut allergy. In an interview with CNN, Dr. Lee Tak Hong of the Allergy Centre of the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital said that this study could result in major changes to current public health guidelines.
Paul Mathieson (examiner.com) knows that, currently, the World Health Organization recommends the avoidance of all peanut products if you are allergic. This study suggests the complete opposite which means all health guidelines would have to be re-evaluated.