Feeding Infants Certain Foods Early May Cut Allergy Risk

Study supports turnaround in thinking about peanuts, eggs, and milk
Study supports turnaround in thinking about peanuts, eggs, and milk

(HealthDay News) — Earlier introduction to potentially allergenic foods may decrease the risk of sensitization, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 13 to 18 in San Francisco.

For the study, 1,421 infants underwent skin prick testing for sensitivity to cow's milk, egg white, and peanut at 1 year of age. Nutrition questionnaires were completed by parents when the children were 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months old.

Most of the children had earlier exposure to milk, while parents more often delayed introduction to eggs and particularly peanuts. The researchers found that early introduction was linked to a lower risk of sensitization for that food. Giving a child egg before age 1 also reduced the odds of sensitization to any of the three tested foods.

In a news release from the American Thoracic Society, lead author Maxwell Tran, a student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, said that this study, along with other research, "supports the paradigm shift that parents should not hesitate to introduce allergenic foods, especially cow's milk, peanuts, and eggs. This will reduce the likelihood of sensitization."

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