Martin L / CC BY 2.0

Infants Who Eat Peanuts Might Not Develop Allergies

A trial found that exposing infants to peanuts early in life led to a decreased chance of developing an allergy to the legume.

By Christine Slusser | February 24, 2015

Long, long ago, in the year 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics told parents to keep their kids away from these little buggers: peanuts.

But that was then; this is now. Welcome to 2015. Now, the nutshell is getting cracked in the other direction. 

A trial included around 600 babies younger than a year old who were considered at risk of developing peanut allergies. It found their risk of developing the peanut allergy was cut by more than 80 percent when they ate the food earlier in life. (Video via NY1)

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The randomized trial was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which first notes that in the past 10 years, peanut allergies in children have doubled in Western countries. 

The babies were randomly assigned into a group that ate peanuts or didn't. They continued to be fed peanuts until they were 5 years old. 

The research found early exposure means less chance of developing peanut allergies. (Video via WHBQ)

The basis of the study started several years ago when researchers found peanut allergies in Jewish children in the U.K. were 10 times higher than Israeli children of similar ancestry. Peanuts are introduced into Israeli children's life earlier than they are for children in the U.K. 

The BBC says specialists think the findings could change diets but warned parents not to experiment at home.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes peanuts as one of the top eight most common allergic foods. It's classified as a "major food allergen."

This video includes images from Daniella Segura / CC BY 2.0 and Martin L / CC BY 2.0.

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