ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (NBC News) New research suggests people with a single tree nut or peanut allergy or may not need to avoid all nuts in their diet.
The research from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology examined 109 people known to be allergic to a specific nut, like walnuts, almonds or cashews.
Despite blood or skin prick tests that showed a sensitivity to other nuts, 50 percent of those patients had no reaction when doctors had the patients actually eat the other nuts, and very few of those diagnosed with a peanut allergy in the study ended up clinically allergic to tree nuts.
“In patients with multiple food allergies, especially, if we can liberate their diet, allowing them to eat other foods, quality of life is much better,” notes Dr. Chris Couch.
This past January the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said most children by age 6 months should have a little taste of peanut butter or another food with peanut in it, but never whole peanuts.
Research shows babies exposed to peanut by then are 80-percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy.