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Babies with eczema shown to avoid developing egg allergy by eating eggs

Feeding babies with eczema a tiny amount of boiled egg has been shown to reduce the prevalence of egg allergy at the age of 1 by 80 percent, according to a study by the National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD) -- the results of which were published on Dec. 9 in the British medical journal, Lancet.

    In the study, NCCHD investigated the effect of consuming eggs in a sample of 121 infants with eczema, aged 4-5 months, who are at risk of developing a food allergy.

    Sixty infants were given 50 milligrams of powdered hard-boiled egg (equivalent of 0.2 grams of boiled egg), once a day, from the age of 6 months onwards. Subsequently, the infants were given 250 milligrams of the powdered formulation from the age of 9 months to 12 months. The remaining 61 babies were provided with egg-free powdered pumpkin.

    The results of the study showed that 38 percent of children in the egg-free formulation group had an egg allergy, compared to only 8 percent of children in the powdered-egg group, by the age of 1. These results led NCCHD to interpret that by continuing to consume a small amount of egg, the baby's body becomes used to the food, and is consequently able to handle larger amounts.

    However, one of the NCCHD doctors involved in the study, Dr. Yukihiro Ohya, stressed, "Do not try this experiment if the child already has an egg allergy. Furthermore, there is also the risk of allergy if the egg is not sufficiently cooked. Prior consultation with a specialist physician is essential."

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