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  • 2016 11 Medicine, If you give peanuts early to your baby, you prevent peanut allergy
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Food allergies, including peanut allergies, usually start in childhood. Using the available data, it can be concluded that peanut allergies have been increasing worldwide in the last 20 years, especially in developed countries, but also in some developing countries. There is no cure for peanut allergy. Once a child has it, that child has it. There are no therapeutic drugs or methods currently available that can alter the course of this condition. There are some treatments, but at best they can achieve only a milder form of the allergy. There was an older idea by some medical professors about how to avoid food allergies, including peanut allergy, but this idea was based just on common sense, not on data.
There is now a new thinking, based much more on data that the older thinking. And the new thinking is: Your gut is an immune organ. Therefore, the early introduction of all kinds of foods, including allergenic foods, to what babies eat during the first year of life probably avoids allergies later in the future and produces tolerance to foods that otherwise would lead to allergies.
Researchers tested the new thinking. A prospective, randomised, controlled clinical study was performed. 640 high-risk babies were randomised to early peanut introduction at the age of 4-11 months, or to no early peanut introduction. In the second group, peanut introduction was delayed until after the age of 5 years. The early introduction of peanuts to the food babies eat at 4-11 months lowered the risk for developing peanut allergy by 80%.
However, parents who want to start their babies on peanuts are often afraid to do so. What is the conclusion? Although nobody knows for absolutely sure, the professor who specialises in allergies and who summarised this clinical study for NEJM Journal Watch writes (verbatim): “My advice for parents and clinicians is to recommend that all children start eating all foods, including peanuts, during the first year of life”.

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Produziert am:
12. November 2016
Veröffentlicht am:
12. November 2016
Ausgestrahlt am:
20. November 2016, 13:30
Wissenschaft Medizin
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Dara Koper, Harvard University, Massachusetts Medical Society
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Dara Koper
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