The results from the LEAP study (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy Trial) were just presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. This trial produced some breathtaking findings about peanut allergy. A group of 640 children with eczema and/or egg allergy (the group that is traditionally the highest risk for peanut allergy development) was divided into 2 different interventions: one group followed the current recommendation of peanut avoidance and the other group was given peanut protein if they did not have large positive peanut skin tests at the screening visit. The group receiving peanut protein ingested 2gm 3x week. The results demonstrated that the group consuming peanut protein had an 86% reduction in peanut allergy for the 4 year study period if they had negative skin testing to peanut at age 12 months. If the children already had a small positive skin test to peanut (defined as a skin test wheal of 4mm or less to peanut) AND they were able to tolerate over 2gm of peanut protein at the beginning of the study, a 70% reduction in peanut allergy over the 4 year study period was seen. These findings were consistent across all races. If children already had a large positive skin test to peanut they were excluded from the study.
The bottom line: there may be a window of time in which peanut introduction is ideal, especially for children at high risk of developing peanut allergy. Here is the suggested approach from the study. PLEASE NOTE, YOUR CHILD’S HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL MUST BE INVOLVED IF YOU HAVE A CHILD WHO IS AT RISK OR HAS ESTABLISHED ALLERGIC DISEASE (ECZEMA, OTHER FOOD ALLERGIES, ASTHMA, SIBLING WITH FOOD ALLERGY)
For infants without atopic dermatitis (eczema), or any risk factors, peanut butter or flour may be introduced between 4-6 months. The study recommends 2gm of the peanut protein 3x week.
For infants with atopic dermatitis it is recommended to screen them with skin prick tests and if they have a 4mm or less skin test wheal to peanut then introduce peanut 2gm 3x week into the diet. The first ingestion of peanut butter is recommended to be in the health care provider’s office.
Here are some additional links
Grateful Foodie Caroline Moassessi Click Here for her website
- Allergic Living Magazine interview (with lead study researcher Dr. George Du Toit) Early Introduction of Peanut Protects Against Allergy: LEAP Study Finds
- The New England Journal of Medicine, Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy
- Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Press Release, “New Study Shows Introducing Peanut in Early Life Prevents Development of Peanut Allergy.” AND FARE’s Blog post, “New Research Shows Peanut Allergy May Be Prevented Early In Life.”
- LEAP- the actual website for the study Leap Study Results
– See more at: http://www.gratefulfoodie.com/breaking-news-peanut-allergy-prevention/#sthash.f9u4Bm4v.dpuf