The English Journal of Medicine recently came out with a study claiming that peanut exposure from infancy to age 5 may reduce the risk of an infant developing a peanut allergy.
Allergic reactions occur when a person’s immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance (in this case called an allergen). In the early 2000s, it was thought that avoidance of peanut allergens would reduce incidence of peanut allergies but, in fact, peanut allergies in children have almost doubled.
This study showed remarkable reduction in peanut allergies in high risk children (those showing severe atopic dermatitis and having an egg allergy). The results suggest avoidance of allergens should no longer be recommended and regular consumption of peanuts until age 5 should be considered to reduce the risk of developing peanut allergies.