A recent study has found that if babies are exposed to peanut butter, it can help keep allergies at bay, regardless of subsequent habits. Until now, peanuts have successfully eluded scientists, but they might have finally found a way to fight against the displeasing allergies.
The number of peanut allergies has grown by four times over the last ten years in the United States, but no one has been able to find the cause. Additionally, scientists have greatly changed their opinions on the best time for babies to try products containing peanuts. For instance, about fifteen years ago, parents were advised to feed their infants with peanut butter, fish and eggs only after they reached the age of three. The reasoning behind this seemed to be that their immune systems were not prepared to deal with these types of foods.
However, in 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed these guidelines because the surge of allergies might have been caused by avoiding certain products. Last year, the results of a landmark study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the research, if children are given peanuts early in their lives, they are less likely to develop an allergy. The report proved that those who tried peanuts during the first year of their lives had a lower rate of allergy of 81 percent, as compared with children who avoided peanuts completely.
The most recent study on the matter brings new evidence in the same direction. The results were published in the same journal and have proven that babies should try products containing peanuts during the first year of their lives. This will prevent them from developing allergies later in life, even if they decide to stop consuming peanut-related products for a whole year. Furthermore, the children who consumed peanuts are less likely to be prone to respiratory tract infections, eczema, stomach bugs such as gastroenteritis and near-sightedness.
New guidelines are set to be developed to go along with the existing ones from the American Academy of Pediatrics that recommend children to try products with peanuts between the first four and eleven months of their lives. However, parents should always keep in mind that each child is different, and they should ask their doctors first about how they should proceed.
The news will surely influence the rates of peanut allergies and might finally help reduce them after so many years.
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