Feeding infants small amounts of mashed-up peanuts early in life may help them avoid developing allergies, even if they stop eating peanuts for a year in early childhood, researchers said Friday. The findings in the New England Journal of Medicine have prompted global health authorities to reconsider long-held advice that babies should avoid certain foods, amid a rise in potentially fatal peanut allergies among youths in recent years. “The early introduction of peanut to the diets of infants at high-risk of developing peanut allergy significantly reduces the risk of peanut allergy until six years of age, even if they stop eating peanut around the age of five,” said the study, led by King’s College London. The findings offer a follow-up to groundbreaking results announced last year from a study known as the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) trial, which included more than 600 children. It found that high-risk babies who ate peanuts by age 11 months experienced a substantially lower rate of peanut allergy by age five than infants who avoided peanuts. The latest study, called LEAP-On, includes evidence gleaned from following 550 children age five to six, some of whom stopped eating peanuts, while others carried on. A…
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