Here’s a piece of news that will be music to your ears if you have been having sleepless nights over your child’s potential peanut allergy! The New England Journal of Medicine has released the reports of the 5-year old LEAP Trial that tested whether giving small amounts of peanuts to babies at risk of peanut allergy reduced the rates of allergy as they grow older or not.
And guess what? The results are definitely positive! LEAP which stands for Learning Early About Peanut Allergy used the randomized trial method where 640 infants indicating a risk for peanut allergy were selected for the trial. They were divided into two groups- one will consume peanuts in moderate amounts for the next 5 years while the other will avoid it completely. All these subjects were between the
group of 4 – 11 months.
Video: The LEAP Trial
After 5 years, the results revealed that only 3.2% of the babies who ate peanuts tested positive for peanut allergies compared to 17.2% of the children who avoided peanuts during the period of the study. “The early introduction of peanuts significantly decreased the frequency of the development of peanut allergy among children at high risk for this allergy and modulated immune responses to peanuts.” concludes the study.
This development has come in at a time when peanut allergies are more prevalent than ever. In the US, they have doubled in the last 10 years and in Asia and Africa they are on a steady rise. Because of this, almost every new parent worries about a potential peanut allergy in their infant and is painfully mindful about it. The LEAP trial has been a quantum leap indeed as its results have at least given rise to hopes of reversing this life-threatening allergy.
All this definitely does not mean that you can start feeding your infant with peanuts right away! Testing for risk rate through skin-prick test and a thorough diet recommendations by the pediatrician are still in order till this study is converted into a workable treatment.
Original publication can be accessed here.