CTV: Parents advised to introduce allergenic foods like peanuts early: review
“We’re in the midst of a food allergy epidemic, so prevention is really important,” said co-author Dr. Elissa Abrams of the University of Manitoba’s department of pediatric allergy and clinical immunology. In the past, parents of babies at high risk of developing allergies were advised to wait 12 months to 36 months before introducing commonly allergenic foods.
In the past, parents of babies at high risk of developing allergies were advised to wait 12 months to 36 months before introducing commonly allergenic foods.
“At the time we thought that if you allowed the infants’ immune system and gut to mature it would decrease the chance that they would become allergic,” said Abrams, who co-authored the review with Dr. Allan Becker.
Instead of food allergy rates dropping, as was expected, there was an increase in some areas.
“For example, in the U.K., when they started avoiding peanut there was as much as a tripling of peanut allergy,” said Abrams.
Later studies “found that giving the foods late did not prevent allergies and in fact may actually increase the risk that these children would become allergic.”
Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.