2, 2008 4:17 pm US/Eastern
Disputes View On Peanut Allergy
Source of Article: http://wjz.com/local/peanut.allergies.2.878204.html
BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― Peanut
allergies are on the rise with more than a million Americans affected. Healthwatch reporter Kellye
Lynn says a new study contradicts a commonly held view about
preventing the dangerous allergies.
This research indicates that early consumption of nuts could help cut the
risk of peanut allergy.
Ten-year-old Aaron Magaziner knows how to react
when his body reacts to peanuts. His epinephrine pen goes everywhere
Aaron does. It's been a way of life since his mom found out he was
allergic at the age of three.
"When I tried to give him peanuts, he would just pull away from it like
it was poison, like it hurt him almost," said his mom, Miriam Magaziner.
Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal food reactions, which kill about
150 people per year.
Doctors often urge pregnant women to avoid peanuts to reduce the risk of
allergy in their offspring. Now new research could change opinions,
says food allergy expert Dr. Robert Wood of the Johns Hopkins Children's
"It turns out the best way to make someone not allergic is to give them
very low doses of exposure very early in life," said Dr. Wood.
The researchers compared children in the UK
and found those who avoided peanuts in infancy and early childhood were ten
times more likely to be allergic to peanuts than those who were exposed to
Still, in some cases, avoidance is effective. Aaron's mother
intentionally kept her youngest son, Justin, away from certain foods early in
"He didn't get soy protein until he was six months. He didn't get
milk products until he was a year and he turned out to have no
allergies," she said.
Dr. Wood says another study will soon be released that shows that greatest
risk of developing peanut allergy is the amount of peanuts consumed by a
mother during pregnancy. That study could be released in six to nine