Early Introduction of Peanut Butter Reduces Peanut Allergies
Smooth Peanut Butter Tested
New clinical trial found that introducing foods containing smooth peanut butter to babies as early as 4 months of age reduces their risk of developing peanut allergy by about 80 percent. Children who had a high risk of developing a peanut allergy — due to severe eczema or egg allergy or both were the subjects of the study.
National Institue of Health Issues New Guidelines
Due to this the National Institute of Health has to issued new guidelines, recommending that parents of infants with severe eczema, egg allergy, or both introduce peanut-containing foods into a child’s diet as early as 4 to 6 months of age.
Guidelines advise parents to check with their infant’s healthcare provider before feeding their baby peanut-containing foods in order to determine whether an allergy test is needed first and whether feeding should be done under a doctor’s supervision.
Peanut allergy common
Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. It’s also one of the most dangerous. Peanut allergy is the leading cause of death related to food-induced anaphylaxis in the United States.
The prevalence of peanut allergy has more than doubled in children from 1997 to 2008 alone. Today, about two percent of American children are allergic to peanuts.
In the past doctors advised parents not to introduce peanut-containing foods to children under the age of three who were at high risk for peanut allergy.
New food labels
the FDA has approved new food labels to be used when a food contains peanuts or peanut residue. The new advice about the early introduction to peanuts and reduced risk of developing peanut allergy will soon be found on the labels of some foods containing ground peanuts that are suitable for infant consumption.
Whole peanuts, on the other hand, are a choking hazard for young children and should not be consumed.
FDA Recognizes Prevention of an Allergy for First Time
Recognizing the importance of science-based food decisions, the FDA has responded to a petition for a new qualified health claim that states “for most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age.”
The FDA stated that their goal was to make sure parents are abreast of the latest science and can make informed decisions about how they choose to approach these challenging issues.
The new claim on food labels will recommend that parents check with their infant’s healthcare provider before introducing foods containing ground peanuts.
It will also note that the claim is based on one study. The FDA will continue to monitor the research related to peanut allergy. If new scientific information further informs what we know about peanut allergy, the FDA will evaluate whether the claim should be updated.
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