The incidence of peanut allergy has been rising , as many parents know. Like its allergic cousins eczema and asthma, food allergy has been something to be managed rather than prevented. But a recent study suggests perhaps some help in our goal of prevention of food allergy.
Most food allergies are related to 6 foods: wheat, soy, egg, fish/shellfish, peanuts/tree nuts and cow’s milk. Medical wisdom had up until now recommended avoidance of allergenic foods within the first year of age.
The recent LEAP study through the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) suggests that early testing and introduction of peanut protein in those with high risk for peanut allergy is associated with 81% lower rates of allergy at 5 years of age.
Peanut allergy is particularly important because of its capacity to induce severe, anaphylactic reactions.
High risk groups include infants with moderate to severe eczema or known/documented egg allergy. Determining whether a child has an egg or existing peanut allergy will require either blood or skin testing.
Here’s a link to the new information for parents.
This is exciting news and we look forward to helping manage this aspect of your child’s diet with you.
In good health,
Paul A. Miller, MD