Perhaps giving peanut products in small amount to infants with eczema reduce risk for food allergies the way growing up on farms decreases incidence of respiratory allergies. Chinese medicine did have a theory of immunization regarding measured exposure in tiny amounts to dried small pox lesions…But a whole nother emphasis in Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda, is food suitable to immature guts. Children vomit easily, get tummy aches and diarrhea easily, and have more narrow palates than adults. That’s because their guts are immature. So if you were gonna give peanut butter to infants, we would give as soup, in some kind of rice gruel, with a little grated ginger, that makes strong the gut. If mixed with a probiotic dairy product, it would be watered down. In general, the Western diet for children, esp the American one, heavy on sugar, non-organic dairy products, and wheat and other foods that are weakening to the gut by being excessively sweet, cold, or heavy, and, on the other hand, light on bitter tasting vegetables that cleanse the gut, may also play a role in the huge amount of food allergies
It is interesting that one of the methods by which the children in the original study Peanuts to infants with eczema reduce food allergens were given peanuts was as peanut butter mixed into probiotic products. Again, Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda both speak about the importance of the gut and immunity. Indeed, one of the theories that explains such high incidence of allergy in western society involves the widespread damage to our guts wrought by the use and overuse of antibiotics, and also by vaccination–
Allergic reactions occur when the immune system wrongly identifies harmless allergens such as pollen or dust as harmful and activates defence mechanisms. Scientists cannot say precisely why these have become more common, but most point the finger at lifestyle changes in developed countries. According to the “hygiene hypothesis”, in the past, our immune systems were more finely tuned, thanks to greater levels of infections and contact with a wider variety of microbes and parasitic worms during childhood. Clean water, pasteurisation and sterilisation, vaccinations and widespread antibiotic use have helped to dramatically increase life expectancy. The flip side is that we encounter far fewer infectious agents and, as a result, our immune systems are less well primed to tell friend from foe. There is plenty of research to support the theory. Last year, Swedish researchers found that children who live on dairy farms have one-tenth the risk of developing allergies compared with other children.
The increase in caesarian sections has also played a role. During vaginal births, babies come into contact with their mother’s bacteria as they pass through the birth canal, helping their immune systems develop. Studies have found that those born by C-section can be up to five times more likely to have allergies.
Shifts in western diets towards more processed food have narrowed the range of microbes in our guts, which play an important role in regulating immune responses. Vitamin D deficiency from spending less time outside, and a lack of exercise have also been blamed. “Western lifestyles are associated with higher rates of allergies, and it’s probably lots of factors adding together, rather than one specific cause,” says El-Shanawany. —from Could Peanut Studies Point to Cure for Allergens….
Please Note: Allergy tests are recommended before exposing at-risk infants to peanut-containing foods between four and 11 months. This blog article by Eyton Shalom does not recommend randomly giving peanuts or other allergen foods to infants. Please follow the advice of your MD in responding to the info in this Guardian article.