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Yet another revision to long-time medical wisdom

Medical wisdom is a term that should definitely be put in quotation marks because nearly every week, we see something that has long been considered standard medical theory turned on its head.

So, should you eat eggs?

One week, yes, eggs are great.

Next week, even one egg a day will kill you.

But trust me, wait a few weeks, and eggs will be back in vogue, as they should forever be, if you ask me.

You wanna prevent heart attacks?

Last week, the advice was to take an aspirin every day, yes, even if you’re very old.

This week, “Hey, wait a minute, no one except some special cases should take aspirin every day, especially not the very old.”

So no surprise that yet another revision to standard “medical wisdom” came down the tubes last week when the authoritative American Academy of Pediatrics released a report in which they claimed that there is no good evidence that restricting specific foods to infants will prevent those kids developing allergies to those food.

In other words, contrary to the long-standing advice from so many experts that restricting the intake of peanuts, shellfish, eggs, or other foods to a 4-6 -month-old infant will lower the chance that that child develops an allergy to that food, it’s quite the opposite: Infants who get exposed to such allergenic foods at an early age seem to have lower risks of allergies to those foods.

Or, as Emily Litella used to trumpet on Saturday Night Live when it was still really funny, concerning that advice that doctors gave so many parents over the years, “Never mind.”

Sure would be nicer if the medical profession weren’t so damn sure about so many things that we do and advise that is based on less-than-fabulous data, and that’s especially true, I think, for advice and interventions in the very young and the very old.

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