Sunday, March 6, 2016

Early Exposure to Peanuts Prevents Allergy

Pioneering approach to prevent peanut allergies in children provides ongoing protection, study shows
A pioneering approach to prevent peanut allergies in children offers them ongoing protection after the youngsters stop eating the peanut protein that immunized them against the potentially fatal reaction, according to a study released Friday.

Research last year showed that exposing infants to bits of peanut butter -- rather than keeping peanuts away from them-- offered initial protection for most children at high risk of developing an allergy. The new study, conducted by the same group of scientists and again published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the safeguard lasted for a year after the children stopped consuming the small amounts of protein.

And in a second study released Friday, the researchers tried to replicate those results with other foods known to produce allergies in children, including milk, eggs, fish, wheat and sesame. They again produced evidence that the approach might work, but because so few families stuck to the difficult feeding regimen, the outcome cannot be considered conclusive.

Yet collectively, the studies offer more evidence that some medical authorities' long-established infant feeding recommendations may need to be revised. The World Health Organization, for example, recommends only breastfeeding for the first six months of life; following that guideline would keep a parent from introducing foods that might stave off allergies. In the United States, federal guidelines on the diagnosis and management of food allergies already are being reconsidered because of the results announced last year.
Just more support for the idea of letting your children experience things rather than shielding them from the real world. It will even help them stay healthier:

The mega-links from Wombat-socho, "Rule 5 Sunday: Looking Back, All I Did Was Look Away", is up at The Other McCain.

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