Preventive Effect of Early Introduction of Weaning Food at 4 to 6 Months on Food Allergy

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ㅣDaily Post = Reporter Kim Jeong-eunㅣ A study has found that weaning food eaten at 4 to 6 months of age can be an important opportunity to reduce the risk of allergies.

This paper was published in the international journal ‘The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology’.

Food allergy is a disease in which the immune system recognizes some components as antigens (allergens) when exposed to certain foods, such as peanuts or shellfish, and causes an abnormal immune response. In particular, peanut allergy is on the rise, with 1 in 50 people in the UK suffering from peanut allergy.

In the past, it was recommended to delay exposure of infants to allergy-causing foods, but recent studies have shown that giving allergy-prone foods in small amounts early can reduce the occurrence of allergies.

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said, “In case of severe eczema or egg allergy, 4 to 6 months of age, in case of mild to moderate eczema, around 6 months, other infants are age-appropriate according to the family’s taste or cultural habits.” Introduce peanuts into baby food at the appropriate time’, suggested the 2017 guidelines.

In addition, the European Society of Allergy Clinical Immunology also suggested in the 2021 guidelines that ‘in a group with a high prevalence of peanut allergy, give peanuts to infants within 4 to 6 months of age’. The guidelines are based on eczema because babies with eczema are more likely to develop food allergies.

In this study, the research team led by Professor Graham Roberts of the University of Southampton, UK, studied infants with a low allergy risk to those with a high allergy risk to find out how early consumption of allergy-causing foods affects the overall population and the optimal time to start eating them. We investigated the results of past examinations conducted on various infants up to .

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The trials targeted for the study are ▲Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) and its preliminary screening for infants aged 4 to 11 months with severe eczema or egg allergy ▲Participation in LEAP because the risk is too low or they already have allergies PAS (Peanut Allergy Sensitization), which carried out an allergy test at 60 months of age for infants who had not been ) and EAT (Inquiring About Tolerance), etc., which were tested.

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As a result of the research team’s analysis of these data, it was found that giving peanut products between 4 and 6 months of age reduced allergy by 77%, indicating that this is the optimal timing to feed peanuts. In particular, it is recommended that babies with eczema be given at a fairly early stage of 4 months of age. On the other hand, exposure to peanuts at the age of 12 months only reduced the allergy prevention effect to 33%.

However, the research team added that babies should be given soft peanut butter or baby peanut products rather than peanuts themselves.

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Professor Gideon Lack, King’s College London, co-author of the study, said: “In Israel, where peanut products are commonly introduced early in life, peanut allergy is very rare. The benefits of feeding peanut products in baby food diminish over time.” It is advised to introduce peanuts, which have a high frequency of allergy, from 4 to 6 months of age.

Previous studies have mainly focused on infants at high risk of allergies, but this study targets all infants. In fact, most allergies develop in babies who do not have risk factors such as eczema.

The research team said, “In the past, it was known that children should be exposed to allergens such as peanuts as late as possible. However, a simple and safe intervention that introduces allergens from early childhood will be an effective public health prevention strategy that will bring enormous benefits to future generations. can,” he said.

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