Does Early Peanut Consumption Provide Sustained Protection Against Peanut Allergy?

The 'LEAP-ON' study followed 556 children from the previous 'LEAP' study
The 'LEAP-ON' study followed 556 children from the previous 'LEAP' study

The LEAP-ON trial (Persistence of Oral Tolerance to Peanut) has shown that the positive effects of peanut consumption from infancy to 5-years old persisted even after 1 year of peanut avoidance. The trial is a follow-up from the LEAP study (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy), which showed a 80% reduction in allergy rates compared to non-peanut consumers of the same age. Both studies were conducted by the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), from Kings College London.

RELATED: Update on Peanut Allergy Immunotherapy: A Test for Success?

The LEAP-ON study followed 556 children from the original LEAP study – 274 were previous consumers from infancy and 282 were previous peanut avoiders – for a 1 year period of avoidance. A significant difference in allergy rates was noted after the 1 year of avoidance; only 4.8% of the original peanut consumers were found to be allergic, compared to 18.6% of the original peanut avoiders.

The authors plan to conduct follow-up studies to investigate whether the level of tolerance is maintained over greater periods of avoidance. Though they believe the findings from the LEAP-ON study prove that eating peanut containing foods, with occasional periods without peanut, is a safe practice for most children following successful tolerance therapy. The full findings from the study are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

On the heels of the LEAP-ON results, Assured Bites Inc. has announced the launch of Hello, Peanut! a peanut and sprouted oat blend product designed to be mixed into pureed foods for infants as young as 5-months old. The amount of peanut in each packet gradually increases daily. After this introductory phase, maintenance packets are recommended until the infant can eat peanut in spread or whole form. 

Hello, Peanut! is currently pending FDA approval for its ability to prevent peanut allergies.

For more information visit hello-peanut.com, and for further information on the LEAP-ON study visit Immunetolerance.org.

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