Babies who eat peanuts are less likely to develop allergy, study suggests

Data from 2,600 Canadian kids used in long-running study on root causes of chronic diseases

(AP-Patrick Sison)

(AP-Patrick Sison)

A new study suggests children who don’t eat peanuts before their first birthday are more likely to be allergic to the food at age three.

Researchers say babies were more than four times as likely to have the allergy by age three than those who did eat it in the first 12 months of life.

The data involved more than 2,600 Canadian children enrolled in the long-running CHILD Cohort Study, which is investigating the root causes of an array of chronic diseases including asthma, allergies and obesity.

None of the infants introduced to peanut before six months of age was sensitized to the food at age three.

Lead researcher Elinor Simons said the findings suggest even babies at low-risk of developing an allergy should consume peanut early. Other well-known studies have focused on the importance of introducing peanut to babies at high-risk of developing an allergy.

“This study’s findings should reassure parents, caregivers and health-care professionals about the benefits of early peanut introduction for all children,” Simons, a clinician-scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, said Thursday in a release.

Children who did not try peanut by age 18 months were more than seven times more likely to be sensitized to peanut compared to those who started eating the food before nine months of age.

“This tells us that if peanut is not introduced before the age of 12 months, it should still be introduced as soon as possible,” added Simons, also an assistant pediatrics professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and a pediatric allergist.

The findings were published online Thursday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Cohort Study is tracking nearly 3,500 Canadian infants and their families to help determine the root causes of several chronic diseases. It spans four provinces, involving more than 140 multidisciplinary researchers, students and research staff.

READ MORE: Study finds peanut allergy treatment safe for allergists to use with young kids

“Even when we excluded high-risk children, early peanut introduction was associated with a lower risk of peanut allergy by age three,” Simons noted.

Infant feeding guidelines have changed significantly in recent years, and Simons acknowledged that some parents might be wary of introducing potentially allergenic foods to young children.

But the findings are in line with previous research, which found in June 2017 that delaying common allergenic foods for infants increases the risk of sensitivities later on.

That study, published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, found that infants who avoided cow’s milk products, egg and peanut during their first year were more likely to be sensitized to these foods at age one.

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

(File photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Crooks hit businesses, vehicles

Oceanside RCMP received 288 complaints in one-week period

Numuch Keitlah, left, and Jake Thomas, centre, participate in a Coastal Nations search and rescue exercise off the coast of Vancouver Island in this undated handout photo. The recently operational Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary has more than 50 members from five Indigenous territories who are trained in marine search and rescue. They are on call day and night to respond to emergencies along some of B.C.’s most rugged and remote coastal areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Jordan Wilson *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Canada’s first Indigenous-led coast guard auxiliary patrols B.C.’s rugged coast

Auxiliary is part of the feds’ $1.5 billion plan to improve marine safety and protect the environment

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Randy Bell. (File photo)
Former northern B.C. mayoral candidate arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers

James Corden on the Late Late Show talking about BC Ferries on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Screenshot)
‘You’ll see it when you see it’: BC Ferries mask graphic gains James Corden’s attention

Turns out, James Corden fans were just as quick as B.C. social media users to pick up on the dual imagery

Andrew Wilkinson addresses a BC Liberal Forestry Rally in Campbell River on Oct. 17, 2020.
Andrew Wilkinson quits as BC Liberal Leader, party to choose interim replacement

Wilkinson had previously said he would stay in his role till a new leader were to be selected

Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League has halted all games until further notice based on B.C. public health officer orders and information from B.C. Hockey. Pictured here, action between Nanaimo and Campbell River from last March. (News Bulletin file)
VIJHL hits pause on season due to COVID-19 orders

All games postponed beginning Nov. 21, says hockey league

Most Read