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4 Your Health: New recommendations for preventing peanut allergy - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

4 Your Health: New recommendations for preventing peanut allergy

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Tucson- New findings have prompted the National Institutes Of Health to encourage parents to introduce peanut-containing foods earlier in their infant's life to lower the severity or even prevent their child from developing a peanut allergy.

According to food allergy research and education approximately three million people suffer from peanut and tree nut allergies. The organization also claims the number of children with peanut allergies has tripled since the late 90's. 

Dr. David Friedman, with Allergy Partners Of Arizona, said the latest report from the NIH suggests introducing peanut-containing foods at a very early age.

"What it shows that if we actually introduce the peanut at 4 to 6 months of age, a couple times a week say, on a routine basis, then the immune system becomes tolerant to the peanut."

While any child may be susceptible there are predisposed conditions to watch out for including a parents own sensitivity, food intolerance, digestive problems and skin conditions, such as eczema.

Dr. Friedman said that increasing a high risk child's tolerance to peanuts can be done through a desensitivity program. 

"It takes about 40 to 60 weeks where we give it daily, starting at microgram doses, increase the dose every two weeks, in a supervised fashion and then measure the changes that are happening."

According to Dr. Friedman, recent studies have shown that up to 80 percent of the children involved in a desensitivity programs become tolerant and don't get sick when they eat peanuts. For more information on peanut allergies click here.

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