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

School District 20 is advising the public there has been a positive case of COVID-19 at the Trail high school. Photo: Trail Times
District confirms positive COVID case at Trail high school

The person is at home self-isolating, administration advised on Wednesday

Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson will advise Premier John Horgan in youth issues and needs. Photo: Submitted
Nelson-Creston MLA named premier’s special advisor on youth

Brittny Anderson is the youngest member of the B.C. legislature

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in the Kootenays. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Highest weekly number of new COVID-19 cases in 2021 for Nelson

The Nelson local health area had 13 new cases in early April

ANKORS held a small demonstration outside Nelson City Hall and the courthouse Wednesday to mark the five-year anniversary of the province declaring the toxic drug supply crisis. Photo: Tyler Harper
‘We’re all supposed to take care of each other’: 5 years of toxic drug supply crisis marked in Nelson

Over 7,000 people have died in B.C. since the crisis was announced in 2016

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

New HousingHub financing funds will encourage developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. Photo: Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News
COVID-19 cases rising in the East Kootenay: BC CDC

Cranbrook has highest case count since health officials began releasing weekly local data

Most Read