Peanut allergy… The general advice has been to avoid peanuts (especially at an early age) if you have any chance of being allergic (eg. Have allergies to other food stuffs, have other allergic conditions like eczema, have a family history of allergy, etc).
I remember during my first pregnancy I would get comments like “Oh you shouldn’t eat peanut butter, because then your baby will have an allergic reaction inside your womb.”
Yeah, and you shouldn’t speak, because then you wouldn’t sound so stoopid. Anyway, it’s hard to come back with a smart arse comment when you’re busy stuffing your face, so I’d just let it go.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a recommendation in the year 2000 that children at high risk for the allergy should avoid peanut consumption until age 3 (these recommendations were withdrawn a year later due to lack of evidence, but this advice is still being dished out).
Well, a recent NEJM study has shown that early peanut introduction REDUCES risk for peanut allergy in high-risk infants. In fact, early peanut ingestion reduced the risk for peanut allergy by 86% in non-sensitised kids, and by 70% in sensitised kids.
That’s a pretty amazing risk reduction… if you don’t factor in the choke-hazard-asphyxiation component.
Du Toit G, Roberts G, Sayre PH, Bahnson HT, Radulovic S, Santos AF, Brough HA, Phippard D, Basting M, Feeney M, Turcanu V, Sever ML, Gomez Lorenzo M, Plaut M, Lack G; the LEAP Study Team. Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 26;372(9):803-813. Epub 2015 Feb 23.