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Food allergy advice may be peanuts

Early exposure to peanuts in a baby’s diet seems to lessen the risk of developing a peanut allergy later

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9:55am, November 6, 2008

Consuming peanuts in infancy appears to lessen, not increase, a child’s risk of developing a peanut allergy later, British researchers report in the November Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The findings clash with some pediatric practices of the past decade, in which parents have been told to avoid feeding peanut products to their infants. In contrast, the new study suggests that early exposure by eating peanuts — in the form of peanut butter — might induce tolerance and head off the aberrant immune response that underlies an allergic reaction.

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