Dr Graham Roberts a pediatric allergist at King's College London reported on a recent study at the 2010 meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
The study involved 640 infants aged 4-11 months with eczema.
The researchers measured blood levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), an immune system protein the body makes in response to allergens. A positive result means a person is sensitive to and likely to be allergic to a certain food.
The results showed:
- 23% of the infants were sensitive to peanuts.
- 31% were sensitive to cow's milk.
- 22% were sensitive to sesame.
- 16% were sensitive to Brazil nuts.
- 20% were sensitive to hazelnuts.
- 21% were sensitive to cashews.
- 14% were sensitive to almonds.
- 16% of the infants tested positive for more than four foods.
The researchers were shocked to discover that even in the first year of life, so many of the infants with eczema already were sensitized to specific foods.
Roberts says this is the first step in an ongoing study designed to test the hypothesis that giving infants foods to which they are sensitised will prevent allergies later in life.
In a three year study, infants with eczema who test positive for sensitivity to peanuts are being divided into two groups; half get peanuts in their diets and half don't. The researchers will compare the rates of peanut allergies in the two groups when the children reach school age.
The hypothesis is supported by the fact that Jewish children in London are about 10 times more likely to have peanut allergies than Israeli children and that one of the biggest differences being that children in Israel are introduced to peanuts early in life.
Courtesy of WebMD
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