New study says feeding infants peanut products could help reduce allergy

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A national pediatrician group recently released a recommendation that says children who are at a high risk of developing peanut allergies, should consume food containing peanuts before they turn one.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says exposure to peanuts at infancy will help children build a tolerance to them.

A study from the New England Journal of Medicine published earlier this year showed that infants who ate peanut butter, peanut soup and finely ground peanuts in yogurt before they turned one year old actually reduced their risk of developing the allergy by 80 percent.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, around 400,000 kids have a peanut allergy and many of their families have gone “nut-free” in their homes, but the results of this study give these children hope.

In fact, some pediatricians are beginning to use peanut--patches with older kids who have peanut allergies to slowly expose their bodies to it so they can develop a tolerance.

"You're basically giving small doses of what they're allergic to and basically that eventually tells the body that we're not allergic to it anymore," Dr. Manoj Mohan with Okemos Allergy Center said.

Pediatricians recommend if you fear your infant is at high-risk for peanut allergies, give them an allergy test first before exposing them to any food containing peanuts.

If you have any questions about any of this, consult your pediatrician.

"It would be huge," Dr. Mohan said. "Just think about it. Patients don't need to be worried about what they're ingesting as much anymore, they won't have to possibly carry epinephrine with them."