Study Suggests Parents Should Not Delay Infants' Introduction to Allergenic Foods

New research reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggests that delaying introduction of cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, and other common food allergens does not reduce a child's risk of developing allergies, eczema, or asthma by the time they're 4 years old.

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Dr. Jonathan M. Spergel, director of the Center for Pediatric Eosinophilic Disease at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says “Previous recommendations were to delay food introduction to prevent allergies.” But the recent study suggests that this is not true. According to Dr. Spergel, there is some evidence that delayed introduction to such foods may even increase allergies. Previous studies have suggested that late introduction of solid foods was associated with an increased risk for food sensitivities.

The current trial, conducted in the Netherlands, plans to track participants from birth until young adulthood. The parents of 6905 children enrolled in the study were questioned regarding the timing of introduction of allergenic foods. The researchers found that introduction of potential allergens before the age of 6 months was not significantly associated with later development of wheezing or eczema.

While more research must be done, this study – along with previously reported research – suggests that it may actually be beneficial to introduce possible allergens early in an infant's life. Read more about the research here: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/744372

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