Babies who eat peanuts are less likely to develop allergy, study suggests

Data from 2,600 Canadian kids used in long-running study on root causes of chronic diseases

(AP-Patrick Sison)

A new study suggests children who don’t eat peanuts before their first birthday are more likely to be allergic to the food at age three.

Researchers say babies were more than four times as likely to have the allergy by age three than those who did eat it in the first 12 months of life.

The data involved more than 2,600 Canadian children enrolled in the long-running CHILD Cohort Study, which is investigating the root causes of an array of chronic diseases including asthma, allergies and obesity.

None of the infants introduced to peanut before six months of age was sensitized to the food at age three.

Lead researcher Elinor Simons said the findings suggest even babies at low-risk of developing an allergy should consume peanut early. Other well-known studies have focused on the importance of introducing peanut to babies at high-risk of developing an allergy.

“This study’s findings should reassure parents, caregivers and health-care professionals about the benefits of early peanut introduction for all children,” Simons, a clinician-scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, said Thursday in a release.

Children who did not try peanut by age 18 months were more than seven times more likely to be sensitized to peanut compared to those who started eating the food before nine months of age.

“This tells us that if peanut is not introduced before the age of 12 months, it should still be introduced as soon as possible,” added Simons, also an assistant pediatrics professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and a pediatric allergist.

The findings were published online Thursday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Cohort Study is tracking nearly 3,500 Canadian infants and their families to help determine the root causes of several chronic diseases. It spans four provinces, involving more than 140 multidisciplinary researchers, students and research staff.

READ MORE: Study finds peanut allergy treatment safe for allergists to use with young kids

“Even when we excluded high-risk children, early peanut introduction was associated with a lower risk of peanut allergy by age three,” Simons noted.

Infant feeding guidelines have changed significantly in recent years, and Simons acknowledged that some parents might be wary of introducing potentially allergenic foods to young children.

But the findings are in line with previous research, which found in June 2017 that delaying common allergenic foods for infants increases the risk of sensitivities later on.

That study, published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, found that infants who avoided cow’s milk products, egg and peanut during their first year were more likely to be sensitized to these foods at age one.

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Press Media took to the streets of Colwood to find houses decorated for Halloween. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Check out these Colwood homes ready for Halloween

Halloween takes place on Saturday, Oct. 31

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Victoria police are searching for a suspect after a stabbing Monday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police searching for suspect in late-night stabbing

Victim taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of B.C. girl, 7, by accused mother was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Most Read