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Is Your Kid Truly Allergic? Tests Add to Food Confusion

Posted by Dave on January 28, 2010

from the Wall Street Journal.’s_Most_Popular


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Expert sees peanut allergy solution within 5 years

Posted by Dave on May 6, 2008

Expert sees peanut allergy solution within 5 years

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) – A form of immunotherapy that could get rid of a person’s allergy to peanuts is likely within five years, even as the condition appears to grow more and more common, a U.S. expert said on Thursday.

Peanut allergy often appears in the first three years of life, with the allergic reaction to eating peanuts ranging from a minor irritation all the way to a life-threatening, whole-body allergic response called anaphylaxis.

Many children grow out of other food allergies such as milk or eggs, but only about 20 percent lose their peanut allergy.

Dr. Wesley Burks, a food allergy expert at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, wrote in the Lancet medical journal that a solution appears to be on the horizon.

“I think there’s some type of immunotherapy that will be available in five years. And the reason I say that is that there are multiple types of studies that are ongoing now,” Burks said in a telephone interview.

Ideally, such a therapy would change a person’s immune response to peanuts from an allergic one to a nonallergic one, Burks said.

He said one possible approach is using engineered peanut proteins as immunotherapy. Other approaches are showing promise, he said, including the use of Chinese herbal medicine in animal research.

Genetic engineering may also produce an allergen-free peanut, Burks said.

But he said that because several peanut proteins are involved in the allergic response, the process of altering enough of the peanut allergens to make a modified peanut that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction would probably render the new peanut no longer a peanut.

“You could end up with a soybean,” Burks said.

He said peanut allergy affects about 1 percent of children under age of 5, and that in the past 15 years more children have been diagnosed with the condition.

He cited research showing the condition becoming more common — doubling among young children from 0.4 percent in 1997 to 0.8 percent in 2002 in one U.S. study

It is unclear why it is becoming more common, he said. One theory he cited was the “hygiene hypothesis,” which holds that too little exposure to infectious agents in early childhood can raise one’s susceptibility to allergic reactions.

Burks said other researchers have suggested that if a pregnant woman eat peanuts, her baby has a higher risk of becoming allergic.

Symptoms of peanut allergy includes skin reactions such as hives, itching around the mouth and throat, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, wheezing and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis — a medical emergency. (Editing by Maggie Fox and Xavier Briand)

Related articles from Google News

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Buy Trace Adkins Song, Proceeds Benefit FAAN

Posted by Dave on March 29, 2008

Download country music sensation Trace Adkins’ live recording of the hit single “You’re Gonna Miss This” from iTunes between March 27 and April 10, 2008 to support the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

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Let’s ask Marion

Posted by Dave on January 15, 2008

Dr. Marion Nestle, NYU professor of nutrition talks about food allergies.

Let’s Ask Marion: Are Processed Foods Poisoning Us? 

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Food Allergies Stir a Mother to Action

Posted by Dave on January 9, 2008

Article from the New York Times.

And comment from Serious Eats readers

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Fear and Allergies in the Lunchroom

Posted by Dave on November 1, 2007

Story from the November 5th Newsweek magazine.  Fear and Allergies in the Lunchroom

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Cooking With Kids: Food Allergies in the News

Posted by Dave on November 1, 2007

Article about food allergies from the Serious Eats website.

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Pregnant Women Should Eat Peanuts

Posted by Dave on September 20, 2007

Pregnant Women Should Eat Peanuts

Government’s current advice may be ‘irresponsible’

A generation of British mothers who have studiously avoided eating peanuts during pregnancy as well as shying away from feeding them to their children, may have contributed to the current allergy epidemic. That’s the opinion of a House of Lords committee which is due to be published next week.

According to the Telegraph, the committee is expected to advise the government to change its current advice to pregnant women and mothers which currently say that parents with a history of asthma, eczema or hayfever should ‘avoid eating peanuts and peanut products when you’re pregnant and breastfeeding’.

The science and technology committee’s allergy report found that nut allergies were extremely low in countries where children are weaned on peanuts.

‘It is quite striking that the increase in peanut allergies is rather in step with the increasing Government advice not to expose tiny children to them,’ said Lord May of Oxford. ‘In Israel, where peanuts are quite commonly found in baby food, there has been no increase in peanut allergies.’

Since 1999 Britain has been the only European country to advice pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid peanut products. But in the last ten years the number of primary schoolchildren suffering from nut allergies has doubled.

Health minister Ivan Lewis told the House of Lords committee: ‘If the advice is entirely wrong and counterproductive and actually damaging people, then we really need to move rather quickly rather than having ongoing incessant reviews

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Posted by Dave on August 9, 2007

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Ditching Bottled Water to Go Green

Posted by Dave on July 10, 2007

Interesting article on bottled water from ABC News .

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