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Want to Prevent Childhood Peanut Allergies? Feed Your Kids Peanut Butter, Study Says

Researchers found that children who consumed peanut butter regularly before age 5 were less likely to develop the life-threatening allergy.

Feeding young kids peanut butter may be effective in preventing peanut allergies later in life, a new study says.

“Feeding children peanut products regularly from infancy to age 5 years reduced the rate of peanut allergy in adolescence by 71%,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a release about the research posted on Tuesday, May 28. (Details about the study were also published by the New England Journal of Medicine.)

According to the NIH, incorporating peanuts early on still effectively prevented later allergies even if the children ended up avoiding peanut products later on.

And for children who weren’t fed peanuts, “peanut allergy remained significantly more prevalent in participants in the original peanut avoidance group than in the original peanut consumption group,” the NIH reported.

The study, co-funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), provided “conclusive evidence that achieving long-term prevention of peanut allergy is possible through early allergen consumption.”

This is a far cry from the 2000 recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which “suggested high-risk infants avoid peanuts” until age 3. That advice, however, was later rescinded in 2008.

Source: people magazine

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