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NEWSWEEK: Cover: Kids and the Growing Food Allergy Threat
Date:10/28/2007

untries, on the other hand, where children eat a variety of peanut products starting at a very young age, peanut allergies are far less common.

Now Lack has enrolled more than 200 babies with eczema or egg allergies -- but no known peanut allergy -- in a groundbreaking trial. He'll give half the babies a peanut-containing snack; the other half will avoid peanuts. He'll then follow them all until age 5 to see if he has stopped a peanut allergy before it takes hold. "We're going to try to intervene during a narrow window of immunological opportunity in the first year of life," says Lack. If it works with peanuts, it could apply to other foods as well. Lack is hesitant, however, to make predictions and warns that nobody yet knows which method -- avoidance or exposure -- will turn out to be the best way to go. "I don't want to give the impression that feeding peanuts is a safe way to prevent peanut allergy, because we really don't know," he says. If parents try to introduce peanuts early at home, "it could be dangerous." If the study is successful, however, it could lead to a turnaround in medical advice.

(Read cover story at http://www.Newsweek.com)

http://www.newsweek.com/id/62296


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