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  • Our Guide to the Latest Research on Infant Food Allergy Prevention

    By: Andrew Leitner M.D.

Our Guide to the Latest Research on Infant Food Allergy Prevention

By: Andrew Leitner M.D.

Our Guide to the Latest Research on Infant Food Allergy Prevention

By: Andrew Leitner M.D.

Learn how applying research from the latest infant food allergy studies can help reduce your children's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%.

 

With food allergies on the rise, it’s exciting that parents now have new ways to try to prevent food allergies. But with all of this new research on food allergy prevention, it can be overwhelming for parents of infants to know exactly what the recent groundbreaking studies mean for their families. That’s why we put together this guide, so that parents can walk away armed with knowledge about these landmark studies and help reduce their children's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%.

 

What Parents Need To Know

Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) Key Outcomes: An 80% reduction of peanut allergy in high-risk infants who consumed the study-recommended amount of peanut protein per week for the suggested time period Takeaways: LEAP established that sustained introduction of peanut beginning in the first 11 months was highly effective in preventing the development of peanut allergy.  A follow-up study (LEAP-ON) later demonstrated that the same infants remained allergy-free through their 4th year of avoiding peanuts. Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) Key Outcomes: A 67% reduction in the prevalence of overall food allergy, 100% reduction in peanut allergy, and 75% reduction in egg allergy in the early introduction group Takeaways: Early introduction of allergenic foods starting at 3 months compared to starting after 6 months was both safe and demonstrated a significant reduction in food allergy prevalence, suggesting that there are more benefits to introducing allergens earlier rather than later and as early as 3 months. One of the key findings from the study established that early allergen introduction did not negatively impact breastfeeding practices. However, study participants could only achieve 50% compliance with protocol, indicating that early and sustained introduction was difficult to achieve at such a young age. Prevention of Egg Allergy with Tiny Amount Intake (PETIT) Key Outcomes: A 79% reduction in egg allergy prevalence among infants with eczema who consumed the study-recommended amount of cooked egg protein per week Takeaways: Stepwise introduction of egg safely and effectively prevents the development of egg allergies in children. Delaying introduction of these allergens may actually increase the incidence of food allergies.


So What Does This Mean For Families with Infants?  

The science is clear: you can help reduce your infant's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80% through early and sustained allergen introduction. But how can families achieve this? Here are our 5 tips for how you can safely and effectively follow the guidance from these landmark studies:

  1. For Infants with Eczema: Infants with eczema are at 4x higher risk for developing food allergies (assuming no other risk factors like family history), therefore, early allergen introduction is strongly recommended. However, please consult with your pediatrician if your child has severe eczema, as an allergy screening may be required first.

  2. Don’t Delay, Start at 4-11 Months of Age: There is a critical immunologic window during which food allergies can be prevented, so it's ideal for parents to begin early allergen introduction starting at 4-11 months of age. Findings from multiple studies suggest that delaying introduction may put your child at a higher risk for developing a food allergy.

  3. Stepwise Introduction: Maximize safety with a stepwise approach (as shown in the PETIT study) - starting off with a low dose and gradually increasing to a higher maintenance dose.

  4. Introduce Peanut, Egg, and Milk for Best Results: Not only do these represent the most common childhood food allergies, but studies indicate that with early introduction, there can be a significant reduction in the development of an allergy to these foods.

  5. Sustain Exposure for Several Months: The results from the landmark studies were achieved through sustained exposure, meaning that participants were exposed to allergenic foods multiple times a week for several consecutive months.

Learn more about the landmark studies mentioned above on our Science page and subscribe to our allergist-developed system that makes it easy to follow the new guidelines! 

 

 

 

 

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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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