Originally published February 25 2015
Feeding peanuts to infants can reduce allergy risk by 81 percent
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) For ages, peanut related allergies were handled by simply abstaining from peanuts, peanut butter, or candy snacks containing peanuts. Some who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts.
The allergic reactions come in three levels of severity, from mild to dead: Mild skin irritation or hay fever-type reactions, rash and itching; hives that produce welts and facial swelling with some breathing difficulty and anxiety; and anaphylaxis, a major immune system over reaction that may kill by completely constricting air passages.
Such a deadly anaphylactic reaction occurred with a 13-year-old girl in a Sacramento, CA summer camp. Natalie Giorgi was very diligent about abstaining from all things peanut compromised. She was offered a Rice Krispies candy treat that was coated with chocolate and peanut butter. As soon as she sensed the peanut butter, she spat it out. But she began having allergic reactions.
At first her mother gave her some Benadryl and she seemed to be recovering. But 20 minutes or so later, she began having serious difficulty breathing. Her doctor father used an Epinephrine Auto Injector (EpiPen) on her three times before she stopped breathing completely.
Epinephrine is actually a synthetic form of adrenaline, which ironically quells asthma attacks, serious hives episodes, and anaphylaxis.
There are a few other food allergies that can cause anaphylaxis: Eggs, milk, although raw milk drinkers have less problems than conventional milk consumers; tree nuts, bee products; shellfish; soy; and wheat. After peanuts, egg allergies are statistically the most common.
Proposed food allergy prevention contrary to conventional wisdomOver the past few decades, there has been a sharp increase in food allergies among children. Peanut and tree nut allergies especially have quadrupled over the past 13 years in the United States according to The New England Journal of Medicine. The most prevalent and dangerous food allergen has been peanuts.
Until recently, the preferred method of handling food allergies with kids was total avoidance. In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended not feeding infants any of the common allergen foods until three years of age, hoping their immune systems would develop enough to handle those foods.
That was retracted in 2008 because peanut allergies kept increasing despite that practice of avoidance until three years of age. Scott Sicherer, a pediatrician and a researcher at Mount Sinai's Jaffe Food Allergy Institute claimed, "We might have caused this increase by telling people not to eat these things."
This was first brought to researchers attention when it was noticed that Jewish kids in London who followed the official abstinence advice had 10 times more peanut allergies than Israeli kids who were introduced to peanut products before age one.
A study, "Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP)" that was published by the New England Journal of Medicine in February of 2015 did a randomized prospective study of 500 infants divided into no early peanut consumption group and early peanut consumption group.
The infants potential reaction was determined by peanut skin prick tests. If the skin prick test determined too high of a reaction, those infants were excluded from the study. Both negative and mild reaction skin prick infants were included in the study. At five years of age, they were all given the "peanut challenge".
The overall prevalence of peanut allergy in the peanut-avoidance group was 17.2 percent as compared with 3.2 percent in the consumption group, which was totally contrary to the previous conventional wisdom for preventing peanut allergies.
The researchers recommended pediatricians use a similar protocol of skin prick testing to determine the safety of consuming peanut products early that could create an immunizing effect for later life.
It has been observed via several studies that overly sanitizing and avoiding microbial contact leads to immune deficiencies.
Urban kids who live sterile lives, never playing in dirt or without family pets, have more health problems than kids who live in rural areas or on small non-factory farms who are exposed to all sorts of microbes at low levels.
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