Peanut Allergy News

Peanut Allergy News

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Homelessness, Filk Music, Peanut Allergies, Election Conflict

Episode: Homelessness, Filk Music, Peanut Allergies, Election Conflict

  • Mar 5, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 20:34 mins

(50:51) Guest: Dean Mitchell, Clinical Expert in Allergy and Immunology in NYC and a member if the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology  Over the past 13 years, the prevalence of peanut allergies has more than quadrupled, and so now schools are peanut-free and food labels carry warnings and kids these days don’t automatically grow up knowing the satisfaction of having your mouth temporarily stuck together by a gooey chunk of PB&J between bread.  In the year 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics went so far as to recommend parents not feed peanuts to kids until they’re three years old to reduce the risk of peanut allergy. But a study just published in The New England Journal of Medicine says that just the opposite may be true. Feeding peanut-foods to babies dramatically reduces their changes of having a peanut allergy by the time they are 5 years old.  “The biggest striking thing is 30 years ago it seemed almost rare to see anyone with a rare food allergy but today, it’s more commonplace. It’s not unusual in a class of 30 children where 4 or 5 of them have peanut allergies,” says Mitchell.  “Most food allergies that have high proteins in them can cause a high reaction. The peanut has always been a great, inexpensive source of protein, so it’s widely available, and it is a high protein food and the higher the protein the more allergenic,” explains Mitchell.   “The difference with the food allergies is that some of these food allergens have been introduced to infants topically through skin products, like shampoos. One of the quickest ways to become allergic is to apply something continually to your skin. That’s been brought up and never fully explored but that may be one of the strongest reasons we have food allergies today,” says Mitchell.