The dry-roasting process may trigger peanut allergies, a new Oxford study says – The Washington Post

The new study, which will be published Monday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, determined that dry-roasted peanuts were more likely to cause an allergic reaction in mice than their raw counterparts.

Researchers found that dry-roasting the peanuts caused chemical changes, because of the high temperatures that the roasting process requires. Their research suggested that a person’s immune system could pick up on those changes, “priming” them for an allergic response, according to a news release.

That might help explain why more people suffer from peanut allergies in Western countries, where dry roasting is more common, than in East Asia, where, the news release noted, “peanuts are more often eaten raw, boiled or fried.”

“People with higher allergic background often have genetic dispositions to various types of allergies including to peanuts,” Oxford researcher Amin Moghaddam said in an e-mail. “But as [we] and others have argued, dramatic recent rises in peanut allergy and the geographical discrepancies cannot simply be attributed to a genetic background.”

via The dry-roasting process may trigger peanut allergies, a new Oxford study says – The Washington Post.

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Dirty Baby, Healthy Baby? Early Filth May Reduce Allergies – NBC News.com

Dirty Baby, Healthy Baby? Early Filth May Reduce Allergies

Want a healthy baby? You may want to roll her around in dirt.

For decades, parents have shielded infants from bacteria and other possible triggers for illness, allergies and asthma.

But a surprising new study suggests that exposure to cat dander, a wide variety of household bacteria — and even rodent and roach allergens — may help protect infants against future allergies and wheezing.

Interestingly, contact with bacteria and dander after age 1 was not protective — it actually increased the risk.

“It was the opposite of what we expected,” said Dr. Robert Wood, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and co-author of the study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. “We’re not promoting bringing rodents and cockroaches into the home, but this data does suggest that being too clean may not be good.”

The new findings may help explain some contradictions in research on the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which suggested that kids growing up in a super clean environment were more likely to develop allergies.

“This doesn’t completely resolve the controversy, but it does add a big piece of the puzzle,” said Dr. Jonathan Spergel, a professor of pediatrics and chief of allergy at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The hygiene hypothesis was developed after researchers noticed that farm kids were less likely to have allergies. Dirty environments, experts suggested, might be protective. The hypothesis seemed to explain why developed countries had skyrocketing rates of allergies and asthma.

Study: Eating Nuts in Pregnancy May Lower Child’s Allergy Risk – WSJ.com

Study: Eating Nuts in Pregnancy May Lower a Child\’s Allergy Risk

A Delay in Introducing Allergenic Foods Doesn\’t Prevent Allergies

By LINDSAY GELLMAN CONNECT

Pregnant women who eat more peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might be less likely to bear nut-allergic children, a new study suggests.

Pregnant women who eat more peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might be less likely to bear nut-allergic children, a new study suggests. Lindsay Gellman reports on Lunch Break.

The research, published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, supports the current consensus among medical professionals that delaying the introduction of nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and other highly allergenic foods in young children doesn\’t prevent the development of food allergies, said Michael C. Young, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a senior author of the study.

The more nuts a mother ate during pregnancy, or a year before or after, the lower her child\’s nut-allergy risk. Getty Images

The findings inversely link a pregnant mother\’s consumption of peanuts or tree nuts with the onset of nut allergies in her child. The more nuts the mother ate while pregnant, or within a year before or after pregnancy, the lower the risk that the child would go on to develop nut allergies, Dr. Young said. The study doesn\’t demonstrate a causal relationship between a pregnant mother\’s diet and the onset of nut allergies in her offspring, he said.

The researchers stopped short of advising pregnant women to eat more nuts. Further, interventional studies—in which researchers would separate participating pregnant women into groups and prescribe their diets, rather than simply track their consumption—are required before they can make such a recommendation.

Researchers led by A. Lindsay Frazier of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children\’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Boston, analyzed data from 8,205 children born between Jan. 1, 1990 and Dec. 31, 1994 to mothers who had reported their diets at or around the time of pregnancy. Of the children they tracked, 140 had developed a peanut or tree nut allergy by 2009. All self-reported cases of physician-diagnosed nut allergies were reviewed independently by two pediatricians, according to the study.

The prevalence of childhood peanut allergy in the U.S. has become an \”epidemic\” in recent years, Dr. Young said. The rate of 1.4% in 2010 is more than triple the rate of 0.4% in 1997, according to the study. Peanut and tree nut allergies tend to overlap, and such allergies typically become evident with a child\’s first known exposure to peanuts or tree nuts, the study said. It defines tree nuts as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias and Brazil nuts.

Until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics had recommended that young children avoid eating peanuts and tree nuts until at least age 3 and cautioned pregnant or nursing women against eating peanuts. In 2008, AAP did away with those guidelines after further studies showed little support for them. The new data support the AAP\’s move to rescind the recommendation, Dr. Young said. The research \”supports the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance and thereby lowers the risk of childhood food allergy,\” the study said.

via Study: Eating Nuts in Pregnancy May Lower Child’s Allergy Risk – WSJ.com.

Doctors Lean Toward Introducing Allergenic Foods To Kids Early : The Salt : NPR

Doctors Lean Toward Introducing Allergenic Foods To Kids Early

by ALLISON AUBREY

September 12, 201311:18 AM

It’s an anxiety that lots of us parents live with: With all the talk about the high rates of food allergies, will my baby or toddler be next?

There’s a lot that doctors are still trying to understand about how to treat food allergies in kids. But a committee of experts from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is weighing in with new guidelines aimed at preventing allergies to the most common allergenic foods.

The guidelines represent a shift in thinking about when it’s best to introduce babies and toddlers to the foods that are most likely to cause allergic reactions.

For years the parents of infants were told that delaying the introduction of certain foods may help prevent allergic disease.

For instance, parents were told to hold off on introducing eggs until kids turned 2. Doctors recommended against adding fish and nuts until age 3. But, increasingly, the evidence is pointing in a new direction.

In fact, in the new guidelines, the committee of allergists cites seven studies that suggest that delaying beyond 4 to 6 months of age the introduction of solid foods, especially highly allergenic foods, may actually increase the risk of food allergies or eczema.

Instead, they suggest introducing some foods that can cause allergies between 4 and 6 months of age, at a rate not faster than one new food every three to five days.

The details of the guidelines are included in this paper, first published in January. Allergist David Fleischer, of National Jewish Health, will present the guidelines in October at a meeting of pediatricians in Orlando, Fla.

If you listen to my story on Here & Now, you’ll hear Dr. Fleischer explain why there’s still a lot to learn.

Many of the studies evaluating the timing of introducing foods are suggestive, but not conclusive. And many studies are still ongoing.

For instance, allergists don’t yet know whether holding off on introducing peanut butter until the toddler years will result in fewer peanut allergies among kids.

There are currently studies underway here in the U.S. and in the United Kingdom that will help answer this question.

Experts say babies with severe eczema or early allergic reactions to food should develop a personalized plan to introduce foods with an allergist.

The shift in thinking about the timing of introducing allergenic foods has been gradual. Back in 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its policy.

A committee within the AAP concluded that there was no evidence that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods such as fish, eggs and peanuts beyond 4 to 6 months of age protects against the development of allergies.

So, on this topic, stay tuned: There are plenty of questions yet to unravel.

via Doctors Lean Toward Introducing Allergenic Foods To Kids Early : The Salt : NPR.

Gluten free treats for your pup!

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This story begins with my poor little boy’s feet going bald and red. The vet said it was a major sign of allergies – and that most dogs allergies are food based. Skip a month ahead and my poor little jack is now on special salmon and sweet potato limited ingredient food and the bald patches are getting larger. Limited ingredient products are pricey and then wait…  shouldn’t I put all of these things I’m learning about nutrition to good use?

Dog’s largest allergies are to gluten and chicken – who knew? And guess what major ingredients are in most of their dog food – wheat and chicken.

So the standard treats, with a good 30 ingredients in them, are now being pushed to the back of the shelf. In front – Rusty’s new and improved, gluten free Oatmeal and peanut butter biscuits! (Apparently oats do have similar characteristics as those found in wheat, but they do not bother 90% of people (at the very least) with gluten intolerances. So I’m starting there first.)

If you’d like to give it a go – if just to reduce all the wonky chemicals added to our furry kids diets – the recipe is below!

First I purchased these small treat sized cookie cutters from this seller on amazon.

1. preheat oven to 375

2. Grease a baking tray/pizza tray

3. Add half a cup of oats, 2 cups oat flour and a tablespoon baking powder and mix

4. Add a cup of milk and a cup of smooth peanut butter. This part’s a bit tricky. TG for hand blenders (and cleaning spray…)

5. sprinkle flour on your countertop, plop out dough and knead it. Roll it to about a half an inch thick (this being my first baking experience in this home, a wine bottle was subbed for a rolling pin..)

6. Cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters or you can make squares or strips with a pizza cutter. Bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. The original recipe I read was obviously for bigger treats and the first batch is a bit.. er… black.. 😉

7. Let cool and feed to your pup!

My next adventure has to be making health treats for the hubbie (so these don’t get eaten by the humans in the house.)