Research shows that children can be fed diluted peanut butter at an early age to prevent peanut allergy.
A new study suggests that administering peanut butter to babies as young as 4 months of age can significantly reduce infant peanut allergy rates.
A study published in the journal Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that peanut allergies were reduced by 77% when 4-month-old babies consumed the food. who had severe eczema and at 6 months for infants with or without mild eczema.
(People with eczema, a skin condition characterized by dryness, itching, and rashes, are at a higher risk of developing food allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic.)
While waiting for the introduction of peanuts into the diet of infants up to 12 months, the level of allergy decreased only by 33%.
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From researchers King’s College LondonThe University of Southampton and the National Institute for Health and Care Research conducted the study.
They analyzed existing data from several studies that assessed risk factors for peanut allergy. babies and young children.
“In order to effectively prevent peanut allergy in the entire population, the consumption of products containing peanuts should be encouraged universally among all young children,” said study lead researcher Dr. Gideon Lack, Professor of Pediatric Allergy at King’s College London, in an interview with Fox News Digital.
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“In real terms, 75,000 newborns in the US develop peanut allergy each year — that’s 750,000 new cases in 10 years,” he continued.
“A policy of early universal introduction of peanuts will prevent the development of peanut allergy in 60,000 children per year and prevent 600,000 cases within 10 years.”
From Sherry Coleman Collins, Dietitian and Food Allergy Expert. Atlanta metropolitan areatold Fox News Digital that the benefits of introducing peanuts in infancy are well supported by a number of studies.
Collins was not involved in the new study.
“We already had evidence that administering peanut butter in the first year of life is beneficial, but this study gives us a narrower window of when to administer peanut butter. [it]She said.
Experts say the sooner the better
Based on the results of a study by Dr. Lack recommends introducing products containing peanuts in high-risk children with eczema and non-white minority infants at 4 months of age, and in lower-risk children at 6 months of age.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the American Academy of Pediatrics support the recommendation to introduce peanuts to children in this age range.
When peanuts were consumed by children aged 4 to 6 months, the incidence of allergies decreased by 77%.
“In most cases, peanut allergy develops very early, in the first year of life,” says the doctor. Lak said.
“It develops earlier and more frequently in infants with eczema and infants of color, so they may benefit from support and education regarding early administration.”
Safe Introduction of Peanut Butter
While whole nuts pose a choking risk for babies, there are other safe ways to introduce peanut products.
Peanut butter is usually the easiest way, as most people already have it in their pantry. But Collins notes that undiluted peanut butter can also pose a choking hazard, so it needs to be “spun” first.
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“Mix two teaspoons of peanut butter with a couple of tablespoons of warm water, breast milk, or infant formula to create a smooth texture for baby,” she recommended.
Another option is to offer peanut puffs softened with breast milk or water, or mixed with pureed fruit.
The study had limitations, the researcher says.
Dr. Luck noted that the study was conducted using data from two large peanut prevention studies.
One was done on high-risk infants with severe eczema, who typically make up about 2% of the infant population.
Another study was conducted in the general population at normal risk.
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“Combining the data from both studies required adjusting for the actual proportion of high-risk infants in the general population,” says Dr. Lak said.
“Importantly, the raw data from each of these two studies show the same pattern of peanut allergy developing in the first year of life. This supports and validates the conclusions drawn from our statistical modeling.”
Parents should consult a doctor if in doubt
Although Dr. Luck believes that most babies should be ready to chew and swallow by 4 months, parents should check with their doctor. pediatrician or other healthcare professional if there is any doubt about the child’s readiness for solid food.
“It’s better to catch an allergy earlier … The older the child, the harder the reaction will be when the allergy manifests itself.”
While it is possible for children develop allergies in the first couple of months of life — especially if they have severe or uncontrolled eczema — Collins noted that severe reactions to peanut butter at a young age are rare.
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“And it’s better to catch an allergy earlier, because the older the child, the harder the reaction will be when the allergy manifests itself,” she explained.