Allergy Reduction - Peanut Allergy Prevention

Allergy Reduction - Peanut Allergy Prevention

Parents of children with eczema know firsthand that there is a link between Atopic Dermatitis (eczema), asthma, and allergies. This link is generally known as the Atopic Triad, aka Atopic Triangle, Atopic March, etc. It means that children who have one atopic condition are much more likely to develop another. Not only that, it also means that the triggers for each of the conditions could be the same. So a dust mite allergy could trigger an asthma attack, an allergic reaction, and an eczema flare up. The upside of this is that by learning your child’s triggers, you can minimize exposure and prevent any atopic attacks. But the question of why the Atopic Triad even exists is, as of yet, unanswered. Why do children develop allergies and is there anything that we can do about it? A recent study out of the UK suggests that there may be a strategy in the future to do so.

A peanut allergy is one of the most dangerous allergies a child can have. It has led to complete peanut bans in schools, on airplanes, and in many other public places. Why do kids develop peanut allergies and could this change? A clinical trial from the “National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases” has found that children who have ingested peanut products as an infant show an 81% relative reduction in development of the allergy. This information might mean that a peanut allergy prevention strategy could be on the horizon.

Interestingly, it was also found in the study that the consumption of solid food containing peanuts as an infant doesn’t affect a child’s nutritional intake or the duration of breastfeeding. This means that, not only does this method of allergy reduction work, it also has no impact on the child’s overall level of health as he or she grows up. Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of the Food Allergy, Atopic Dermatitis and Allergic Mechanisms Section in NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, has stated “Overall, these findings indicate that early-life introduction of peanut-containing foods as a strategy to prevent the subsequent development of peanut allergy is both feasible and nutritionally safe, even at high levels of peanut consumption.”

It will be fascinating to see if strategies such as these will result in less allergies as they are adopted, and therefore less incidents of eczema in children. Will peanuts be back on the menu in the near future? Time will tell.

Hoffman, Hillary. “Peanut Allergy Prevention Strategy Is Nutritionally Safe, NIH-Funded Study Shows.” http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2016/P... National Institute of Allergy of Infectious Diseases. 10 June 2016. Web. 13 June 2016.

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