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Current allergy prevention research taking place in London, called the LEAP study, is investigating how best to prevent peanut allergies developing in young children. The current advice given to parents is to give their children a nut-free diet until they reach the age of four or five. However, researchers in the LEAP study are questioning if leaving nuts out of a child's diet until that age may actually be increasing their susceptibility to a nut allergy. This research is investigating whether exposure to peanuts at an early age can prevent a nut allergy developing later in life.
The LEAP study suggests that by allowing a baby from the age of six months to have nuts in their diet introduces the body to nuts at an early age allowing it to recognise them as a non-harmful substance.
Allergy specialist, Dr Peter Saul agrees with this idea: "A more widespread earlier introduction of foods may help matters, however at this current time there is not a lot that has been shown to make much difference."
Dr Peter Saul MB ChB DRCOG DCH MRCGP
10022 Published May 2009
Reviewed November 2012
Review Scheduled November 2013comments powered by Disqus