Could Eating Peanuts Early on Prevent Your Child’s Allergy?
Exposing children to peanuts at a young age could actually prevent the development of a peanut allergy later in life.
Food allergies driving you nuts? There’s hope. A promising new study suggests that exposing children to peanuts at a young age could actually prevent the development of a peanut allergy later in life.
Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System, thinks the researchers may be on to something. “This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that the early introduction of an allergenic food can be beneficial,” she says.
Peanut allergies have risen dramatically in recent years—in part, says Dr. Shah, to more antibiotic use, less germs and changes in our internal gut bacteria—but experts think this new knowledge could help put a dent in the growing prevalence. Just be careful exposing your child if you think they could have an allergy.
“This is definitely not something people should try at home,” says Dr. Shah. “Partner with a pediatrician or allergist for help.”