Introduce peanuts to infants early to prevent allergies: study suggests

Introduce peanuts to infants early to prevent allergies: study suggests

Introducing peanuts to infants early, between four to six months of age, reduces the chance that the kids will develop peanut allergies, a new study suggested.

Pediatrician Matthew Greenhawt, of the Food Challenge & Research Unit at Children's Hospital Colorado, said that peanuts should be introduced early in life to infants, after some other foods have been introduced. The timing as well as method should depend on the child's risk of a peanut allergy.

Making the suggestion, Dr. Greenhawt said, "Guidance regarding when to introduce peanut into the diet of an infant is changing, based on new research that shows that early introduction around 4-6 months of life, after a few other foods have been introduced into the infant's diet, is associated with a significantly reduced risk of such infants developing peanut allergy."

The new guidance is based on a study titled, the Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP). In that trial, researchers found that infants at high risk for peanut allergies who were introduced to peanuts early were less likely to develop allergy to the food by the time they became 5 years old.

The researchers presented the study's findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in San Francisco.

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