It might sound strange, and it might also sound a little bizarre, but a new study issued by the National Institute of Health (NIH) says that to avoid developing peanut allergies, it’s best to just feed infants peanuts.
One of the deadliest and best-known allergies in the world is that of peanuts. There have been stories of peanut allergies that have shocked the world and now, even food packaging has a big sticker that tells you whether or not the food contains even a little bit of peanut or peanut oil. The reactions to peanuts, in any form, has gone from minor to something as severe as anaphylactic shock which leads to death in some cases. And while there is no cure for this allergy, NIH believes that there is a way to build up the immune system to fight the allergy.
The new set of guidelines were formed by an expert panel at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where they aim to help healthcare workers to work with parents to introduce peanuts into the diets of their infants.
These new guidelines are very strict, with allergy tests being included to determine the safety of introducing peanuts into the diet. After solid food has been introduced into the diet, at around 4-6 months of age, peanuts can slowly be introduced into the food.
While it might sound terrifying and not entirely trusting to give an infant peanuts if they already have a peanut allergy, it is something that NIH has done research on and is also based off of the concept of vaccination – where a mild form of the virus is injected into the body so that the immune system can recognise it and then destroy it.
According to BuzzFeed Health, there are three separate guidelines to an infant’s risk for developing a peanut allergy.
One: Infants at high risk of developing a peanut allergy because they already have severe eczema, egg allergy or both, should have peanut-containing foods introduced into their diets as early as 4–6 months of age.
Two: Infants with mild or moderate eczema should have peanut-containing foods introduced into their diets around 6 months of age.
Three: Infants without eczema or any food allergy should have peanut-containing foods freely introduced (whenever) into their diets.
Despite all this information, it is important to discuss with your doctors and paediatrician before making any decision.