Great news for parents who fear their infant might develop a peanut allergy later in life. According to a study recently presented during the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, infants introduced early to nuts are less likely to develop allergies by the time they reach the age of 5.
Peanut allergy is considered one of the most common types of allergies. According to a survey performed back in 2008, approximately 1.4% of adult US citizens have this type of allergy. The same study states that approximately 140 US children and adults each ear to severe allergic reaction to peanuts.
The new study performed by Matthew Greenhawt, a pediatrician from the Food Challenge and Research Unit Department (Children’s Hospital Colorado, revealed that nuts allergies could be curbed and even be avoided in later life if the infant is introduced early to this type of food.
More specifically, the pediatrician declared that the optimal age to introduce this type of food is 4 to 6 months. The study’s senior researcher added that clinical studies performed on infants revealed that infants who are introduced this early in life to peanuts and other types of nuts have a decreased chance of developing a peanut allergy by the time they reach the age of 5 years old.
But how are we able to tell whether an infant is susceptible to develop a peanut allergy? Greenhawt said that we have to look out for the signs. For example, as the doctor pointed out, infants who have an egg allergy and with moderate to severe eczema are more likely to develop a peanut allergy.
However, the study does has several limitations, in the sense that the results might not apply to all infants. For example, a clinical study in Germany wanted to see if early exposure to a high quantity of eggs would decrease the chances of an allergy.
The results proved that if eggs are introduced in high quantity at ages of 4 to 6 months, the risk of developing an allergy is even higher.
However, the study’s results are promising, and Greenhawt is encouraging young parents to introduce peanuts into their children’s diets as soon as possible. He also stated that a short trip to the doctor might help determine whether the child is susceptible to peanut allergy or not.
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