Chalk another one up for The Hygiene Hypothesis and good old-fashioned Chance.
In a somewhat-risky move, scientists have found a way to help children who weren’t already allergic to peanuts to stay that way.
And the lead doc got the idea when he noticed his faraway friend’s patients had much fewer allergies. -Because giving peanut-snacks to babies over there was something they just do.
So after testing them first to make sure no fatal reactions would occur, Doctor Gideon’s Kings’ College team fed children a little peanut butter mixed in with their food. And,…
One interesting thing to note is the time of the child’s life they tried this experiment: As young as 4 months. Most advice cautions parents to be super-careful with children under the age of 1, because they haven’t really developed an immune-system just yet.
And of-course, the most interesting of all? -The Results!
About 17 Percent of children not getting early-exposure developed allergies.
The children who were exposed only became allergic about 3% of the time. -Huge difference.
The results proved so solid & different from the pre-2008 avoidance-recommendations, the study’s main author Gideon Lack is now recommending that once parents have had their children tested to make sure there is no pre-existing, possibly-fatal allergy, that they start incorporating peanut-butter into their baby’s food as early as possible.
Other specialists like Scott Sicherer cautioned that it might also be prudent to feed the baby for the first time in the presence of a doctor who’s properly-prepared with the appropriate allergy meds, epi-pens, etc. at the ready, just to be extra safe.
Check out the revolutionary, Hygiene-Hypothesis-y further details at the Links:
“#330 Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”, by Flickr user Yasmeen
• Source: CNN
• More Coverage: LATimes | NPR | CNN-Study:Oral Immunotherapy Helps Reduce Some Allergies
• Source Study: NEJM-Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy | NEJM-Editorial on The Study