Contrary to popular belief and previous studies, researchers recommend parents to introduce children to allergenic foods early to prevent allergies that may develop in the future.
- It was previously recommended that children should be exposed to common allergens between 12 to 36 months old
- These measures have seen to a rise in allergies, with 8% of families reporting at least one
- The study has emphasized the need to expose children to food allergens between 4 to 6 months old
- A research showed that by doing so, allergies to peanuts decreased by 80%
Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada conducted a study which essentially debunked former recommendations in regards to allergies. Past researchers have shown that parents with children at high risk of developing the condition should wait between 12 to 36 months before allowing them to consume commonly allergenic foods.
According to co-author of the study Dr. Elisa Ambras, this was for the purpose of letting their “immune system and gut mature”. This was suggested to decrease the chances of developing allergies. However, instead of seeing numbers of allergies falling worldwide, they are at a gradual increase. In fact, right now, we’re in the middle of a “food allergy epidemic.”.
It means that the previous recommendations have only served to aggravate the problem. In the United Kingdom, avoiding peanuts has led to the frequency of peanut allergy to triple.
The study found that 8%, or 1 in 12 families, report at least one food allergy to one of the common culprits, such as milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, or sesame.
This has been the root of their study, and came up with the opposite conclusion. According to the researchers, parents should introduce commonly food allergens to children between 4 to 6 months old. This will aid them later on in fighting the development of certain severe reactions later on, that might impend on their life or even threaten it under unfortunate situations.
The researchers mean to now challenge conventional wisdom where it regards the problem. They have also gathered data to back up their study. The Learning Early About Peanut (LEAP) research found that by introducing children early on to the common allergen would reduce their chances by 80% of developing the allergy.
According to Abrams, they discovered that kids can also become allergic through their skin. Specifically, if they have eczema, and they’re exposed to a food without them actually consuming it.
Now, there is no need to wait. It’s actually recommended that parents ensure their children’s safety by introducing them to these particular allergens.
Furthermore, mothers should not avoid eating them during pregnancy. There is harm in abstaining from certain foods, such as giving birth to premature children or risking a low weight upon their delivery. These are beliefs that should no longer be placed into practice, because they’ve essentially proven they cause more harm than good. All we have is the rising numbers of allergies to show for it.
Image source: peanutallergyfacts.org