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Feeding babies peanuts cuts allergy risk

A Palestinian farmer holds peanuts during harvest in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: AGRICULTURE SOCIETY BUSINESS)
A Palestinian farmer holds peanuts during harvest in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: AGRICULTURE SOCIETY BUSINESS)

Washington: Science still might not know as to why some people are allergic to things and others aren’t, but a team of researchers has found out a way to ward off peanut allergies.

The early introduction of peanut to the diets of infants at high-risk of developing peanut allergy significantly reduces the risk of peanut allergy until 6 years of age, even if they stop eating peanut around the age of five, according to the King’s College London study.

The LEAP-On study followed on from the LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) study, both led by Professor Gideon Lack, which found that the majority of infants at high-risk of developing peanut allergy are protected from peanut allergy at age 5 years if they eat peanut frequently, starting within the first 11 months of life.

Overall, the study saw a 74 percent relative reduction in the prevalence of peanut allergy in those who consumed peanut compared to those who avoided.

The authors caution that the LEAP study design did not allow a determination of the minimum frequency or amount of peanut consumption required in early childhood to prevent an allergic response to peanut.

Professor Lack said that the longer term effects of stopping eating peanut following introduction early in life are not known, and further studies are needed. Parents of infants and young children with eczema and/or egg allergy, and so considered high-risk to peanut allergy, should consult with an Allergist, Paediatrician, or their General Practitioner prior to feeding them peanut products.

The study appears in New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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