New research finds that children born into families who frequently eat peanuts could be at risk of developing a nut allergy.
A new study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency has found that young children raised in families that regularly eat peanuts may be more likely to go on to develop a nut allergy.
The research, carried out by the Imperial College London came to this conclusion on the basis of findings that showed that on average, the families of children who develop a nut allergy consume more than double the amount of peanuts in baby's first year of life that families of non allergic children.
While previously nut allergies were thought to develop from direct consumption of nut products at a young age, either by eating them directly or via mother's breastmilk, these results suggest that frequent inhalation or skin exposure to peanuts or peanut products may also pose a risk even when the child does not eat peanuts themselves.
It's currently recommended that the consumption of peanuts should be avoided in pregnancy, when breastfeeding and in baby's early life if direct relatives (i.e. mother, father, brothers or sisters) suffer with allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema or hayfever. However, these findings suggest that even eating peanuts in the home couple potentially pose a risk too.
Implications for children with egg allergies were also found with the development of nut allergies by these children in later life being significantly reduced in households where family members rarely ate peanuts.
While these findings aren't completely conclusive they do suggest that if you're baby is at 'risk' of developing a nut allergy it may be worthwhile minimising the consumption of peanuts in your home.
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