Feeding Infants Peanut Products Could Help Prevent Allergies

Parents are frequently told not to feed infants peanut products and other potential allergens until they are at least a year old, but a new study indicates that babies considered to be high-risk for developing peanut allergies are much less likely to do so if they are fed peanut products before they are a year old.

According to the New York Times, a new study from London looked at about 530 infants between four and 11 months old that were considered at a high risk for developing peanut allergies but had not yet done so. Half the parents were told to keep their children away from peanuts and peanut products, while the other half were told to give their children at least six grams of peanut protein a week, which is about 24 peanuts worth, spread out over several meals.

Researchers watched the children until they were five years old, at which point they said that only 1.9 percent of the children given peanut products had developed a peanut allergy, while 13.7 percent of the children who were not given peanuts developed allergies.