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New Research Suggests That Regularly Feeding Children Peanut Products From Infancy Until The Age Of 5 May Reduce The Rate Of Adolescent Peanut Allergies By 71%

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Approximately 6.1 million Americans of all ages are allergic to peanuts, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). The frequency of allergies is also on the rise since, from 1997 to 2008, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergies increased by over 300% among American children.

But, a new study suggests that consistently feeding children peanut products from infancy up to the age of 5 significantly reduces the incidence of peanut allergies during adolescence by an impressive 71%, even if they later avoid peanut products for several years.

“Today’s findings should reinforce parents’ and caregivers’ confidence that feeding their young children peanut products beginning in infancy according to established guidelines can provide lasting protection from peanut allergy,” said Jeanne Marazzo, the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director.

“If widely implemented, this safe, simple strategy could prevent tens of thousands of cases of peanut allergy among the 3.6 million children born in the United States each year.”

The study results originate from the LEAP-Trio study, building on the results of the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) clinical trial and the follow-up LEAP-On study – both of which were sponsored and co-funded by NIAID.

For the LEAP trial, half of the study participants consumed peanut products regularly from infancy until they were 5 years old. At the same time, the other half avoided peanuts altogether during this period.

The researchers discovered that introducing peanut products early reduced the risk of peanut allergy by an impressive 81% by age 5. During the LEAP-On study, children were also asked to avoid peanut products from age 5 to age 6.

Afterward, the team found that most kids who had originally consumed peanuts still maintained production against the allergy by the time they were 6 years old.

The idea behind the LEAP-Trio study was to determine if the protection from early peanut product consumption could extend into adolescence, considering whether children could eat peanuts at their discretion. Children who were already allergic to peanuts by age 6 were advised to continue avoiding them.

pilipphoto – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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