Health Infants should be eating peanuts by six months, allergists say

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    To reduce the risk of peanut allergy, infants should eat foods containing peanuts by the time they are six months old, according to new guidelines released Thursday by a U.S. government panel.

    The recommendation marks a dramatic evolution in the scientific understanding of how peanut allergy develops. Instead of delaying peanut exposure in infancy, as earlier guidelines recommended, “you should actively introduce peanut,” said the panel’s Canadian member, Edmond Chan, head of the division of allergy and immunology at the University of British Columbia’s department of pediatrics and director of the allergy clinic at BC Children’s Hospital.

    Caution about feeding foods containing peanuts to infants “has probably led to more peanut allergies,” Dr. Chan said.

    The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases set up the panel after the 2015 release of results from a landmark study. The Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) trial showed that the early introduction of peanuts among infants at high risk of peanut allergy dramatically reduced their risk of developing the allergy by the age of 5. Other studies looking at foods such as eggs support the early introduction of specific allergenic foods, Dr. Chan said.

    Read more here. (The Globe and Mail)

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