Peanut allergy can be prevented by feeding peanuts early in life


In Washington, D. C., the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, issued clinical guidelines supporting the early introduction of peanut-containing foods to infants to prevent the development of peanut allergy. The new Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States was prompted by emerging data suggesting that peanut allergy can be prevented by the early introduction of peanut-containing foods.

Recent clinical trial results showed that regular peanut consumption begun in infancy and continued until 5 years of age led to an 81 percent reduction in development of peanut allergy in infants deemed at high risk because they already had severe eczema or egg allergy.

The addendum provides three separate guidelines for infants at various levels of risk for developing peanut allergy and is targeted to a wide variety of health care providers, including pediatricians and family practice physicians.