Preventing food allergies has been shown to be effective by an early introduction to foods rather than a delayed introduction. The recent new of preventing peanut allergy. Peanut Allergy Prevention, has scientists looking into other foods as well. Egg allergy prevention was recently investigated and published in the Lancet. Researchers studied whether a stepwise early introduction of eggs to high risk patients with eczema would prevent egg allergy by 1 year of age.
Infants 4 to 5 months of age with eczema either received egg or placebo. Infants in the egg group consumed 50 mg of egg a day from 6-9 months, then 250 mg until 12 months of age. Eczema was treated throughout the intervention period. At 12 months of age, the children were evaluated to see if they were allergic to eggs by an open oral food challenge.
The trial was so successful at egg allergy prevention, it was terminated early. The participants in the egg allergy group became 9% allergic vs. the placebo group who had 38% egg allergy.
These results indicate that the introduction of heated egg in a stepwise manner along with aggressive eczema treatment is a safe and effective way to prevent egg allergy in high risk infants.
This approach at egg allergy prevention would be applicable to other solid foods and accelerate us to reach the turning point for food allergy prevention.
Now that we have this egg allergy prevention study in addition to the peanut allergy prevention study, this reinforces that the best approach to prevent food allergies is to introduce foods early. Although there is a risk for allergic reactions happening, it is best to speak to your child’s doctor the best approach to how to do it. Children with eczema have a higher risk of food allergies, those children should consult with a pediatric allergist before introducing high risks foods in their diets.