This week in the article “How to Prevent Food Allergies,” Scientific American discusses the changes over the years to medical advice regarding children and dietary allergens. The article notes the results of the Immune Tolerance Network’s (ITN’s) LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) Study that prompted the change in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidance. Current recommendations suggest that high-risk infants should be systematically fed peanut products as early as four to six months of age in order to prevent the development of peanut allergy.
In addition, a recent article on Nosh.com “MeWe Fuels the Fight to Prevent Peanut Allergies” discusses how in light of the LEAP Study’s results and the new AAP guidelines to introduce peanut protein to infants, the nonprofit organization Edesia, which distributes fortified peanut butter to malnourished children around the world, is now launching a consumer-facing brand that will introduce peanut butters formulated for 6-month-olds.
ITN’s LEAP Study found that feeding peanut to high-risk infants between four to 11 months old led to an 81% lower rate of peanut allergy at the age of five. In addition, the EAT (Enquiring About Tolerance) Study found that after healthy infants were fed peanut protein, eggs and four other allergenic foods between three to six months old, the babies had a 67% lower prevalence of food allergies at age three.
To read more about these studies, the changes in medical advice to reduce the development of food allergies, theories about why the incidence of food allergies have increased over the past several decades, or products being developed to help meet these early feeding suggestions, see the full articles: