Guide to the PETIT Study and Egg Allergy |ReadySetFood – Ready, Set, Food!
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  • A Parent’s Guide to the PETIT Study

    By: Jessica Huhn

A Parent’s Guide to the PETIT Study

By: Jessica Huhn

A Parent’s Guide to the PETIT Study

By: Jessica Huhn

What did the PETIT study reveal about preventing egg allergies in babies? What do the findings mean for your family? What is stepwise introduction, and how is it related to the PETIT study? This article covers everything parents need to know about the PETIT study.

Learn about the other landmark clinical trials on food allergy prevention: Learning Early About Peanut (LEAP) Study and Enquiring about Tolerance (EAT) Study

Thanks to the landmark PETIT study, we now know that gradually introducing babies to eggs early and often significantly reduces their risk of developing an egg allergy. But how was the PETIT study conducted, what exactly did the study reveal, and what do the findings mean for your family? In this article, we’ll break down everything parents need to know about the PETIT study.

The PETIT Study: Overview

In the PETIT study, babies with eczema either ate or avoided egg for six months, to see if early, consistent and gradual introduction of egg reduced their risk of egg allergy. Because of their eczema, these babies were at high risk for egg allergy.

Here’s everything parents need to know about the PETIT study:

What was the purpose of the PETIT study? To see if gradually and consistently introducing egg to babies with eczema helps reduce their risk of developing an egg allergy
Where and when did the study take place? Japan, between September 2012 and February 2015
Who took part in the PETIT study?
  • 147 healthy Japanese infants with eczema
  • Starting at ages 4-5 months
  • Their eczema made them high risk for egg allergy
How was the PETIT study conducted?
  • The babies were randomly assigned to either consume egg or avoid egg for 6 months
  • The babies’ parents and doctors didn’t know which group each baby was in
  • Babies who consumed egg ate heated egg powder mixed with squash
  • Babies who avoided egg ate only squash
  • Mothers continued to breastfeed during the study
  • The babies’ eczema was aggressively treated throughout the study
How much egg did the “consume” group eat? How often? What kind?
  • The “consume” group ate heated egg powder mixed with squash, daily for 6 months
  • Egg was introduced “stepwise:” starting with a lower dose, then moving to a higher dose
  • 50mg heated egg powder per day between 6-9 months of age
  • 250 mg heated egg powder per day between 9-12 months of age
How did the researchers check to see if the children developed an egg allergy? A food challenge at 12 months, where babies were exposed to 7 grams of egg in a clinical setting.
What did the results show?
  • Consuming egg early and consistently, and introducing the egg gradually, resulted in a ~79% reduction in egg allergies in high-risk infants
  • Gradually introducing egg to baby is a safe and effective approach to preventing egg allergy - This is known as the stepwise approach.

 

Breaking Down the Findings

The PETIT study’s results showed that introducing egg to babies with eczema early and often reduces their egg allergy risk. In fact, the study was ended earlier than expected because, during a scheduled interim check, the researchers could already tell that introducing egg early and often was protecting babies from egg allergies.

Out of the babies who reached and completed the egg challenge at the end of the study:

  • 23 of 61 babies (38%) in the group that avoided egg had an egg allergy.
  • Meanwhile, only 5 out of 60 babies (8%) in the group that consumed egg had an egg allergy.
  • Comparing these two groups, there’s a 78.95% difference. 

According to these results, introducing egg to babies with eczema starting at the age of 6 months, and sustaining daily exposure through the age of 12 months, reduced their risk of an egg allergy by ~79% (when combined with aggressive eczema management). 

PETIT and Stepwise Introduction

The PETIT study also showed that gradually starting egg introduction, by feeding baby a smaller dose of egg and then increasing to a larger dose, is a safe and effective approach to preventing egg allergy for babies with eczema. This approach is known as the stepwise approach for introducing egg. 

As one reviewer of the study reported, “Stepwise egg introduction to infants with eczema appeared to be safe [because] no severe, immediate allergic reactions were reported at home.”

Life After the PETIT Study: What do the findings mean for your family?

The PETIT study shows that early, consistent and stepwise introduction of egg can help protect your baby from developing an egg allergy. Here’s what parents should take away from the PETIT study:

  • Introducing your baby to egg starting between 4-6 months of age, and continuing for at least 6 months, can reduce their risk of egg allergy by up to 79%. 
  • Delaying the introduction of egg increases babies’ food allergy risk. 
  • Stepwise (gradual) introduction of egg, where you start with a smaller dose and then move to a larger dose, is a safe and effective way to prevent food allergies in babies. The PETIT study and leading pediatricians support this approach.
  • It’s especially crucial to introduce egg to infants with eczema, because they are at highest risk for egg allergy. Combine early egg introduction with an eczema management plan. 

Ready, Set, Food! Follows Exact Dosage Used In the PETIT Study

Ready, Set, Food! makes it easy to follow the PETIT study protocols and international medical guidelines, and safely introduce egg to your baby early and often. It’s the only early allergen introduction system that follows the exact egg dosage recommended by PETIT. And since Ready, Set, Food! starts with a lower dose and gradually increases to the full dose, it follows the stepwise approach used in PETIT and recommended by leading pediatricians.  Plus, it also introduces milk and peanut, the other two most common allergy-causing foods, to your baby.


Ready, Set, Food!’s pre-measured packets eliminate guesswork and time-consuming preparation, so you can feel confident that your baby is getting the right amounts of egg, milk, and peanut for prevention. It easily mixes with breastmilk or formula, so you can start introducing peanut, egg, and milk as early as 4 months, even before your baby is ready for solids. Learn why Ready, Set, Food! works for every family’s routine, and why it’s recommended by 1000+ pediatricians.

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

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