The Latest on Peanut Allergies

Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director


A close friend of mine has had to deal with a severe peanut allergy all her life. At risk for going into anaphylactic shock, a condition where your blood pressure suddenly drops and your airways narrow, possibly blocking normal breathing, she’s had to be hyper vigilant about the foods she eats. Operating at a very cautious level all her life, she once mentioned, can be exhausting.

Perhaps too late to help my friend, researchers recently found a 16% decrease in peanut allergy prevalence among 12-month-old infants after the publication of infant feeding guidelines in Australia in 2016, which recommended introducing peanuts before 12 months for all infants. The findings, based on data involving 7,209 infants in Australia, were presented during the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting.

In the article Earlier peanut introduction may curb later allergy, the details of the Australian study are delineated with quotes from the researchers.

One day we may be able to edit out the gene in peanuts that causes my friend to be so at risk for anaphylactic shock. In the meantime, such studies as this one can be encouraging for parents having to raise children with sensitivities to peanuts.

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