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Peanut Allergy Prevention: New Guidelines for Early Introduction

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released new guidelines today to help prevent the development of peanut allergy.

Why the New Recommendations?

For years, guidelines told us that parents and pediatricians should delay giving peanut-containing foods to children until after age three. However, all of our best evidence now shows that early introduction of peanut-containing foods is associated with less peanut allergy.

In 2015, a landmark study called LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) provided strong evidence that early introduction of peanuts prevents the development of peanut allergy in many children.

LEAP findings showed that the group of at-risk infants who ate 2 grams of peanut three times a week had significantly less allergy to peanuts at 5 years of age compared with infants who avoided peanut. The at-risk babies were all less than 12 months of age with eczema and/or egg allergy.

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