Preventing Peanut Allergy in a Nutshell
Could avoiding exposure have been the wrong answer for peanut allergy? The “Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP-On)” study may have shown it is.
The study was funded by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). It consisted of a controlled study in which more than 600 infants, ages 4 months to 11 months, consumed different types of peanut-containing snacks at least three times a week, while the control group did not. The findings were almost astonishing!
In the study, “…regular peanut consumption achieved an 86 percent reduction in peanut allergy at age 5 among children who had negative skin prick tests to peanut at study entry, and a 70 percent reduction in peanut allergy among those who were sensitized to peanut (positive skin prick test) at the beginning of the study.”
The research was led by Gideon Lack, M.D., of Kings College in London. Lack commented that, “For decades allergists have been recommending that young infants avoid consuming allergenic foods such as peanut to prevent food allergies.” Lack then explained that in light of these findings, the previous advice may have actually led to the increase in peanut and other food allergies!
Hopefully, studies like this can help us better understand the population with peanut allergies as well as other severe food-related allergies. Until then, be sure to review the content in your EMS Safety First Aid manual about the treatment of severe allergic reactions and lobby your State to get epinephrine auto-injectors into the hands of lay rescuers. Educate your students about the importance of prevention and preparedness. People with severe allergies should carry their epinephrine auto-injector with them at all times.
Information on this study can be found on FARE’s website by clicking the link below: