Scientists have found ways to drastically reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy in children
Parents should introduce their children to peanut products as early as four months of age to prevent allergies, experts say.
The number of people suffering from allergic reactions to peanuts has tripled in recent decades, and in severe cases, the consequences can be fatal.
Approximately one in 50 children is currently affected, leading to lifelong anxiety about the ingredients in their food.
But British researchers found a “window of opportunity” between four and six months of age, which they say is the best time to introduce children to peanuts.
It could reduce cases of peanut allergy by as much as 77 percent, they said.
Experts found that introducing peanut products to babies at four and six months of age reduced the incidence of peanut allergy later in life by 77 percent (stock image).
A team of scientists from King’s College London and the University of Southampton said most cases of peanut allergy have already developed by the time a child is one year old.
They reviewed data from the Tolerance Study (EAT) and the Peanut Allergy Early Study (LEAP).
The Leap study included 640 children at high risk of developing peanut allergy and examined the early introduction of peanut products.
The Eat project has recruited over 1,300 three-month-old babies in England and Wales. They were followed for several years to investigate the early introduction of six allergenic foods – milk, peanuts, sesame, fish, eggs and wheat.
An analysis published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that it is best to introduce children to peanut products at four to six months of age.
WHAT IS ANAPHILACTIC SHOCK?
Anaphylactic shock, also known as anaphylactic shock, can be fatal within minutes.
This is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy.
The reaction can often be caused by certain foods, including peanuts and shellfish.
However, some medications, bee stings, and even the latex used in condoms can also cause a life-threatening reaction.
According to the NHS, this happens when the immune system overreacts to a trigger.
Symptoms include: dizziness or weakness; breathing difficulties – such as rapid, shallow breathing; wheezing; rapid heartbeat; clammy skin; confusion and anxiety, collapse or loss of consciousness.
This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.
Insect bites are not dangerous to most victims, but a person does not have to have a pre-existing condition to be at risk.
The gradual increase in bites can cause an allergy in a person, and the subsequent bite causes an anaphylactic reaction.
It can reduce the incidence of peanut allergy by 77 percent compared to 33 percent when given to a one-year-old child.
They added that children at higher risk of developing allergies — for example, if they already have eczema — should start closer to four months.
The NHS currently says that nuts and peanuts can be introduced from six months of age if they are crushed, ground, or as a smooth nut or peanut butter.
Based on their findings, the scientists are urging the government to consider the latest evidence.
Lead author Professor Graham Roberts said: “Existing recommendations suggest that peanuts should be introduced from about six months of age.
“The latest government report on the introduction of food into infant diets was published in 2018. Since then, a number of studies have been published that suggest that introducing peanuts and other foods earlier may help prevent allergies from developing.
“We believe the government should review the current guidance on when to introduce peanuts to infants. In our opinion, peanuts should be introduced earlier if infants are developmentally ready for solid foods.”
He explained that a peanut allergy occurs when the body mistakes peanuts for something dangerous and reacts to them.
“The reaction can be all over your body — your lips can swell, you can get an itchy rash, and you can have trouble breathing,” he said.
The child’s immune system must learn to distinguish food from dangerous microbes that need to be kept out of the body.
“The body does this through the form in which it sees things. If he sees peanuts in large enough quantities in his intestines, he will consider them safe food and he will not develop an allergy.”
Children’s nutritionist Mary Feeney at King’s College London said their findings suggest giving children a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter three times a week to reduce the chance of them developing an allergy to it.
She warned that infants or preschool children should never be given whole or chopped nuts, as they carry a risk of choking.
She added that children should be prepared to transition to solid foods when peanut products are introduced.
Professor Gideon Lack of King’s College London and the Guy and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust said: “The benefits of including peanut products in children’s diets decrease as they get older.
“This reflects the experience of Israel, a culture where peanut products are commonly introduced early in the diet of infants and peanut allergy is rare.
“There is a narrow window of opportunity for preventing the development of allergies.
“Introducing peanut products between four and six months of age can significantly reduce the number of children who develop peanut allergies.”
Nine-year-old girl first to benefit from life-changing treatment for peanut allergy
Emily Pratt, 9, was one of the first children in Europe to receive Palforzia, an immunotherapy pill that helps reduce the severity of symptoms, including anaphylaxis, after a reaction to peanuts.
Children with peanut allergies across the country will be the first in Europe to receive a life-changing treatment.
NHS England has secured a deal for Palforzia, an immunotherapy pill that helps reduce the severity of symptoms, including anaphylaxis, after a peanut reaction.
Evelina Children’s Hospital London has participated in two large peanut allergy studies, the Palisade and Artemis studies.
Sophie Pratt said her family’s life changed after her nine-year-old daughter Emily took part in the Palisade trial.
She said: “Participating in clinical trials has changed the lives of our entire family. The treatment we received meant that Emily was free from the constraints and fear that the slightest mistake could put her life in jeopardy, and removed all the stress and anxiety that hung over us every day because of the simple act of eating.
This was especially noticeable on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and holidays, when there are often special items such as cakes, ice cream and treats that always had warnings, “may contain peanuts” or non-English language menus.
“After the trial, Emily can party and date with confidence, eat at restaurants, and we don’t have to call in advance to check the menu, and we managed to spend her first vacation abroad in New York, and we even took part in animal feeding. . at the zoo, that’s Emily’s passion.
“We couldn’t be more grateful.”
The Artemis study found that about six of the fourteen and 17-year-olds who responded to about 10 grams of peanut protein at the start of the trial were able to take the 1,000 mg dose by the end, well over the dose. accidental impact.
Up to 600 children aged 4 to 17 are expected to receive treatment this year, with children in England the first in Europe thanks to a deal struck by the National Health Service. About 2000 a year after that will be treated.
Peanut allergy currently affects one in 50 children in the UK.
NHS Medical Director Professor Stephen Powys said: “This groundbreaking treatment has the potential to change the lives of patients and their families, and with the NHS deal, people here will benefit first in Europe.”
“This will reduce fear and anxiety for patients and their families who may have been living with this allergy for years and carry emergency medication with them just in case.”
“They should be able to dine out together or vacation abroad without worrying about an allergic reaction that could land them in the hospital or worse.”
Professor George du Toit, Consultant Child Allergy at Evelina London, was the UK Senior Investigator for both studies.
He said: “This is great news for children and young people with peanut allergies. Palforzia’s approval represents a significant step forward in improving allergy care, and we now have access to the first licensed treatment that reduces the severity of this allergy and protects against accidental contact with peanuts.
“This will have a huge impact on the daily lives of our patients and their families.”