London – Two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have exposed evidence that suggests feeding babies with peanuts or other allergenic food reduce the chance of allergy. According to the studies, early prevention could be the key to preventing children from developing food allergies.
One study is a follow-up of an important research conducted in 2015. It was the first one to show that early introduction of peanut can prevent the development of allergy. This follow-up states that early prevention strategy can provide continuous and long-lasting results for children at risk for food allergies.
The second study, scientists found that this strategy could also work with other foods that often cause allergies, such as eggs. It involved 1,300 breastfed British children who were randomly assigned to have several types of allergy-inducing foods or just breast milk.
The results supported the first study findings. Dr. Gary Wong, a Hong Kong pediatrician said the results are due to food not being feasible in infants who are so young. He explained that it appears early introduction would be better off than avoidance.
“The … findings exceeded our expectations and demonstrated that the early consumption of peanuts provided stable and sustained protection against the development of peanut allergy in children at greatest risk for this allergy,” Dr. Gideon Lack from Kings College London said in the statement.
The study results have led to new draft guidance. Now, the recommendations include giving at-risk peanut-containing foods by the time children are four to six months of age.
Dr. Gerald Nepom, Director of the Immune Tolerance Network, said that the study offers the guarantee that eating foods that contain peanuts is safe after successful tolerance therapy. He added that the immune system appears to remember and sustain its tolerant state, even without continuous regular exposure to peanuts.
Dr. Gideon Lack from Kings College London explained in the statement that this protective effect occurred irrespective of whether the children completely avoided peanut for one year or continued to eat it sporadically.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine