Babies who eat peanuts are less likely to develop allergy, study suggests

Data from 2,600 Canadian kids used in long-running study on root causes of chronic diseases

(AP-Patrick Sison)

A new study suggests children who don’t eat peanuts before their first birthday are more likely to be allergic to the food at age three.

Researchers say babies were more than four times as likely to have the allergy by age three than those who did eat it in the first 12 months of life.

The data involved more than 2,600 Canadian children enrolled in the long-running CHILD Cohort Study, which is investigating the root causes of an array of chronic diseases including asthma, allergies and obesity.

None of the infants introduced to peanut before six months of age was sensitized to the food at age three.

Lead researcher Elinor Simons said the findings suggest even babies at low-risk of developing an allergy should consume peanut early. Other well-known studies have focused on the importance of introducing peanut to babies at high-risk of developing an allergy.

“This study’s findings should reassure parents, caregivers and health-care professionals about the benefits of early peanut introduction for all children,” Simons, a clinician-scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, said Thursday in a release.

Children who did not try peanut by age 18 months were more than seven times more likely to be sensitized to peanut compared to those who started eating the food before nine months of age.

“This tells us that if peanut is not introduced before the age of 12 months, it should still be introduced as soon as possible,” added Simons, also an assistant pediatrics professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and a pediatric allergist.

The findings were published online Thursday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Cohort Study is tracking nearly 3,500 Canadian infants and their families to help determine the root causes of several chronic diseases. It spans four provinces, involving more than 140 multidisciplinary researchers, students and research staff.

READ MORE: Study finds peanut allergy treatment safe for allergists to use with young kids

“Even when we excluded high-risk children, early peanut introduction was associated with a lower risk of peanut allergy by age three,” Simons noted.

Infant feeding guidelines have changed significantly in recent years, and Simons acknowledged that some parents might be wary of introducing potentially allergenic foods to young children.

But the findings are in line with previous research, which found in June 2017 that delaying common allergenic foods for infants increases the risk of sensitivities later on.

That study, published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, found that infants who avoided cow’s milk products, egg and peanut during their first year were more likely to be sensitized to these foods at age one.

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds celebrate Year of the Rat in Victoria’s Chinatown

Lion dancers and kung fu demonstrations on display

Camosun student shares story of overcoming struggles to inspire others

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program helps former youths in care attend post-secondary institutions

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read