Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Even Bigger Food Allergy News

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new set of recommendations on food allergies. The full report will be published in the January issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the AAP.

In short, pregnant women don't need to avoid peanuts. The report reads: "Although previous AAP publications have suggested that pregnant women avoid peanuts, a more recent study has reported that there is no association between the maternal consumption of peanuts during pregnancy and childhood peanut allergy."

The data on breastfeeding and food allergies is offically inconclusive. "Because the available published trials have had methodologic shortcomings, more data are necessary to conclude that the avoidance of antigens during lactation prevents atopic dermatitis in infants... Overall, firm conclusions about the role of breastfeeding in either preventing or delaying the onset of specific food allergies are not possible at this time," according to the report.

Finally, the recommendations on delaying allergenic foods have been revised: "In summary, the evidence from these conflicting studies, in balance, does not allow one to conclude that there is a strong relationship between the timing of the introduction of complementary foods and development of atopic disease. This raises serious questions about the benefit of delaying the introduction of solid foods that are thought to be highly allergic (cow milk, fish, eggs, and peanut-containing foods) beyond 4 to 6 months of age; additional studies are needed."

Nice work, AAP. Good job also on questioning the "no peanuts until 3 for any kids, even those without a family history of food allergies" recommendation. I look forward to the results of future studies.

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