(Reuters Health) Parents may be able to reduce the chance that their children will develop peanut allergies by introducing the food early on, as young as four to six months of age, experts now say.
The timing and method should depend on the infants risk of a peanut allergy, according to doctors who presented a preview of updated guidelines today in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
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 infants diet, is associated with a significantly reduced risk of such infants developing peanut allergy, said Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, a pediatrician and co-director of the Food Challenge and Research Unit at Childrens Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado, who coauthored the update.
This is an amazing opportunity to help potentially reduce the number of cases of peanut allergy, but this can only be done with the cooperation of parents and healthcare providers, Greenhawt told Reuters Health.
The basis for recommendations is the Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study. ...