A new study suggests doctors have been giving the wrong advice about peanuts for years.

A new study suggests doctors have been giving the wrong advice about peanuts for years.

For reasons not entirely clear, the number of people allergic to peanuts has risen dramatically in recent years. Peanut allergies usually appear in childhood. The condition is sometimes fatal, and there is no cure. For children with risk factors for allergies, pediatricians have long advised complete avoidance of peanuts. But a new study by British doctors — just published in The New England Journal of Medicine — suggests that advice was wrong. The study shows that exposing infants to peanuts could sharply cut the incidence of allergies to the legume. Many pediatricians are optimistic but not ready to issue new guidelines. We discuss the latest research.

Guests

  • Dr. Sally Joo Bailey Assistant professor of pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Gideon Lack Professor, King’s College London, and co-investigator of the peanut allergy study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Dr. Hemant Sharma Acting chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology, and director of the Food Allergy Program, Children's National Health System.

Expert Q&A: Dr. Sally Joo Bailey

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