The Peanut Foundation

Current Directions in Peanut Allergy Research

The American peanut industry actively supports scientific research on effective measures which may reduce or even eliminate peanut allergy in the future. This section summarises major research initiatives on peanut allergens and signposts to sources of further information. This is a rapidly changing field and visiting the websites of the projects mentioned below is the recommended way to find the latest information.

Disclaimer: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. The information in this section is believed to be correct at the time of publication. The American Peanut Council recommends anyone wishing to find out more about food allergies to make contact with one of the specialist organizations.

 

Food Allergy Resources


 UK Food Standards Agency (UK)

The Food Standards Agency is an independent Government department set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food. The FSA is responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK. It also protects consumers through effective food enforcement and monitoring. Here is their database of completed projects.


UK Health Education Trust (UK)

The Health Education Trust is dedicated to initiating and supporting work with children and teenagers, young adults, students, and pupils to encourage the growth of healthy lifestyles.


 CoFAR (Consortium of Food Allergy Research) (US)

The Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) was established in July 2005 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to conduct both observational and clinical studies to answer questions related to food allergies.


Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)

FARE is a trusted source of information, programs, and resources related to food allergy and anaphylaxis.


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (US)

NIAID supports efforts to help better understand, prevent, and manage allergy disorders that affect approximately 5 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the United States.


LEAP Project (Learning Early about Peanut Allergy Project)

The LEAP randomised controlled study - the first of its kind - enrolled over 600British children between 4 and 11 months of age at high risk for peanut allergy because they had eczema or egg allergy to test whether consumption or avoidance of peanut until age 5 years would result in decreased incidence of peanut allergy. Children were randomly assigned to test consumption of a peanut-containing snack or peanut butter on a regular basis, or to avoid peanut consumption, for 5 years. The prevalence of peanut allergy in the 5-year-old children was then compared between the peanut consumption and the avoidance groups. Of the children who avoided peanut, 17% developed peanut allergy by the age of 5 years. Remarkably, only 3% of the children who were randomised to eating the peanut snack developed peanut allergy by age 5. This is not a cure for peanut allergy or a treatment for existing allergy, but it does point a way forward for early introduction of peanut in the diets of high‐risk infants in the first year of life in order to prevent most of them developing peanut allergy in later life.

You can access a Q&A about the LEAP study here. APC has compiled this to assist members and the wider peanut industry to understand what the LEAP study was abut and to avoid misunderstandings which have been seen in some media reporting of it.


EAT (Enquiring about Tolerance) Project

The EAT study is a large clinical intervention trial running in London seeking to discover whether early introduction of allergenic foods, including peanut, into the diets of young children, alongside continued breastfeeding, leads to a reduction in food allergies by age three. The conclusions, expected in late 2015, will help understanding of the introduction of allergenic foods into the weaning diet.