A new study has shown that infants whose parents gorge on peanuts have a higher likelihood of developing allergies to them.
Conducted for the Food Standards Agency by researchers from Imperial College London, the study revealed that children under one year generally would become peanut-allergic in families where average weekly household peanut consumption was significantly higher.
AdvertisementThe researchers believe that exposure to peanuts through the skin or inhalation may be a "significant factor" in allergy development.
According to the FSA, very low household consumption might even prevent egg-allergic children from developing allergies to peanuts.
The researchers found that in households where children had an egg allergy, but no peanut allergy, the average weekly household consumption was lower.
"This relationship was found to be independent of the child's own level of consumption of peanuts," the Scotsman quoted the FSA's research as saying.
"These results suggest that higher environmental exposure to peanuts during early life in the families of those children who went on to develop peanut allergy, may have promoted the development of peanut allergy," the summary concluded.
The study was focussed on 133 children with peanut allergies, 150 with no food allergies, and 160 with egg allergies.
Children with egg allergies were included because they are at high risk of developing peanut allergies.