A peanut allergy can be prevented

If children regularly eat peanuts early in the morning, the allergy usually disappears

Peanuts - one to three percent of all children are allergic to them - rising © USDA
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Just eat the impending allergy: A peanut allergy can be best prevented by children regularly eat peanut-containing food early. This is confirmed by a US long-term study. Around 80 per cent was able to reduce the risk of allergies. Conversely, the exaggerated caution of many parents may even be responsible for the increase in allergies to peanuts and other foods, the researchers say.

Between one and three percent of all children in Western Europe and the US today are allergic to peanuts - twice as many as ten years ago. Why such allergies increase today, is so far unclear. Diet-related changes in the intestinal flora, too much vitamin D or environmental influences such as particulate matter or plasticizers are discussed.

Peanutmeal from childhood

Whether there is a way to prevent at least the peanut allergy in infants, have examined Gideon Lack of King's College London and his colleagues in a long-term study. This involved 640 children who were between four and eleven months old at baseline. All children were considered to be at high risk of allergies because they already had eczema or were allergic to egg.

Half of the children regularly received food containing peanuts at least three times a week for the next five years - for example, a spoonful of peanut into the porridge, and later perhaps a little peanut butter in the vegetables. The other half of the children were deliberately kept away from anything containing peanuts - this was the current recommendation for potentially allergy-prone children for a long time. At age five, the researchers then performed an allergy test on all children.

80 percent fewer allergies

The amazing result: Of the five-year-olds who had never received peanut-containing, 17.3 percent suffered from a peanut allergy. However, among the children who regularly ate peanuts, it was only about one percent, as the researchers report. The early targeted confrontation with the potential allergy trigger thus lowered the morbidity rate by more than 80 percent. display

"For decades, allergists have recommended keeping young children away from all potentially allergenic foods, " states Lack. "Our findings now suggest that this advice was wrong." Instead, excessive caution may even be responsible for the increase in allergies to peanuts and other foods. (New England Journal of Medicine, 2025; AAAAI Annual Meeting)

(King's College London, 24.02.2015 - NPO)