Study suggests giving allergenic foods to infants from the age of three months may prevent allergies

Researchers are advising parents to adhere to the existing official feeding advice for now

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Image: Patrick Sison / AP/Press Association Images

Giving allergenic foods to babies from the age of three months may stop them developing allergies.

A study by the UK's Food Standards Agency involved 1,300 children at a children's hospital in London.

Researchers compared infants who were breastfed and given allergenic foods from three months, with those just breastfed and given food at six months.

Scientists found food allergy was lower in the first group, suggesting that "prevention of food allergy may be achieved with weekly consumption of approximately one and half teaspoons of peanut butter and one small boiled egg".

Researchers are, however, advising parents to adhere to the existing official advice for now, saying that the study was carried out under the guidance of allergy professionals.

Speaking about the findings, the study's principle investigator Gideon Lack said, "the results of the analysis of infants who managed to consume the recommended amount are most striking for peanut and add to the growing body of evidence from our other studies, that early introduction of peanut prevents the development of peanut allergy in both a high risk population of children with eczema and in a general population".

However, Dr Chun-Han Chan from the FSA says there were some difficulties during the experiment:

You can read more about the study here.