A new study says that early introduction of some allergens to infants’ diets may reduce risk of the development allergies later. The systematic review and meta-analysis of studies conducted for the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency found that the early introduction of peanuts and eggs significantly reduced the risk of subsequent allergy development.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that the moderate early introduction (4-11 months of age) of some allergens reduced the risk of developing allergy later.
Peanuts and eggs can see reduced risks, fish and other allergies may not.
Five trials involving 1,915 children found that infants who were introduced to eggs between the ages of 4-6 months cut their risks drastically. Two clinical trials involving 1,550 children showed that introducing peanuts between the ages of 4-11 months reduced risks by a similarly high amount.
An accompanying editorial in the journal commended the meta-analysis for its bringing together the evidence in this controversial approach to food allergy mitigation.
Trials studied in the analysis included food introductions for milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soy.