Archive for February, 2011

More Pieces to the Peanut Puzzle

Peanut Allergies have been centermost in popular news sources since The New Yorker published The Peanut Puzzle.  These stories are tied to various research project results that link Peanut Allergies to wealth, gender and vitamin deficiencies.  Upper class individuals, boys and children with vitamin D deficiencies have been found to be those most likely to be predisposed to the condition.

Research is vital to the understanding and even prevent of medical conditions, but it is critical those affected by Peanut Allergy know how to manage the condition.

Below is an excerpt from Allergy U, Common Allergies found in NYC located on the NYCAllergyDoctor.com website.

Allergy to Peanuts

Peanuts are one of the most allergenic foods, and peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. Peanuts are probably the most common cause of death by food anaphylaxis in the United States, and about one third of peanut-sensitive patients have severe reactions to peanuts.

Peanuts are added to a large variety of processed foods (see first table). These include ice cream (as a flavoring), marinades, snack foods and biscuits. Peanuts can be used as a flavoring or a seasoning agent and may be labeled as such (see second table). Peanuts may be used in the manufacture of vegetable burger patties. A fatal reaction to peanut antigens in almond icing has been recorded. Peanut butter may also be used to glue down the ends of egg rolls to keep them from coming apart. Additionally, it is not widely known that peanut butter is commonly used in Asian cuisine. Peanuts can be deflavored, reflavored, and pressed into other shapes such as almonds and walnuts. These products retain the allergenicity of the peanut. Some patients with peanut allergy also react to sweet lupine seed flour, which may be used, for example, to fortify pasta.

TABLE XI — Foods that may contain peanut or peanut oil
Baked goods
Baking mixes
Battered foods
Biscuits
Breakfast cereals
Candy
Cereal-based products
Chili
Chinese dishes
Cookies
Egg rolls
Ice cream
Margarine
Marzipan
Milk formula
Pastry
Peanut butter
Satay sauce and dishes
Soups
Sweets
Thai dishes
Vegetable fat
Vegetable oil

Although uncommon, a peanut protein hydrolyzate may also be used in soft drinks as a foaming agent or in confections as a whipping agent.

Peanut oil is frequently used in the preparation of health foods. The oil can be used for many non-food products, which may, on contact, affect sensitive individuals. Like peanut oil, other vegetable oils such as soy, maize, sesame and sunflower oils contain very low quantities of protein.

Peanut oil has been considered to be devoid of allergenicity, and this was initially confirmed by double-blind crossover studies. However, peanut oil allergenicity is clearly process-related, because cold-pressed peanut oils may contain peanut allergen. Moneret-Vautrin et al. confirmed the allergenicity of peanut oil in milk formulas, and 11 of 45 brands of milk formulas in France contained variable amounts of peanut oil. Residual peanut proteins are believed to become more allergenic with heating.

A recent study showed that 50% of individuals allergic to peanuts (a legume) reported allergic reactions to other tree nuts as well, often because the foods are processed and shipped together. These findings were not validated by further clinical investigation. For patients whose allergies are limited to peanuts, nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts can be used as a substitute.

Both ImmunoCAP and epicutaneous testing can help confirm peanut allergies in patients.

If you suffer from a Peanut Allergy, I offer over 2 decades of experience, helping patients successfully manage allergic conditions.  Feel free to peruse my many positive reviews and give me a call at 866-632-5537.

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Link between Celiac and Asthma

Swedish researchers have found that people with celiac disease (abnormal immunological response to a protien in grains) are more likely to develop asthma.

The study shows an association between the 2 diseases, but not that one causes the other. One area of concern is the role vitamin D plays in the celiac condition.  Celiac patients often have low levels of vitamin D, and low D will also increase the chance of developing asthma.

Read more about the study

If you have questions regarding asthma or an asthmatic condition, please contact my office at 866-632-5537 and together we can come up with a treatment plan to improve your quality of life, and get you breathing easier.

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The Affects of Particle Pollution on Children’s Lungs

On the cusp of Thursday (2/24) American Public Health Association’s panel briefing regarding climate change and health, where much of the discussion centered on air quality, Taiwanese researchers released findings that detail the affects of particulate pollution on children’s lungs.

Testing children’s lungs for several pollutants and fungal spores once a month for the duration of a school year found that even in the case of modest increases in fine particular matter,  particle pollution accounted for an average .16 liter decrease in the amount of lung capacity.  The average 10 year olds lung capacity is 2-3 liters.

Read more on the research project from the Journal of Pediatrics

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NIH Publishes New Food Allergy Guidelines

NIAID is the lead institute at NIH for research in food allergy.   Committed to better understand, prevent, and manage the disorder of food allergies which affects approximately 5 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the United States the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has published the following  Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States

Food allergy is a public health problem that affects children and adults and may be increasing in prevalence. Currently, there is no treatment for food allergy; the disease can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of symptoms. The diagnosis of food allergy also may be difficult because non-allergic food reactions, such as food intolerance, are often mistakenly classified as food allergies.

To address these concerns, NIAID worked with 34 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups to develop concise clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals on the diagnosis and management of food allergy and the treatment of acute food allergy reactions.

Visit NIAID for more information.

NPR’s Talk of the Nation podcast New Guidelines for Handling Food Allergies

If you have questions regarding food allergies, or are seeking an allergist, I welcome you to review my credentials and patient reviews.  Call my office at (866)-632-5537 or book an appointment online.  Together we can find a solution that will improve your quality of life.

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NYCAllergyDoctor asks Allergies Provide Protection from Brain Cancer?

MSNBC reporter Nastasha Allen informs us of  a study in which patients with history of allergies experienced less brain and nervous system cancers.

It is important to note that the study included only 1031 patients, 419 with glioma (most common form of brain cancer) and 612 healthy people.

While the results are consistent with previous findings that suggested a link between allergies and gliomas, this study was one of a few that examined factors such as the number and types of allergies including seasonal, pet and food, the researchers said.

“It doesn’t matter what type of allergy you have, they are all seem to be protective,” said study researcher Bridget McCarthy, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

What do you think? Overactive immune systems that cause allergies may protect against certain cancers?

Missing in the study results is cause and effect distinct in showing allergies directly lower the risk of brain tumor.  The observational findings result in a possible connection, that leaves Dr. Eugene S. Flamm, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, skeptical.

“As the authors point out, there are several conflicting reports in the literature, and this paper does not resolve the issue in any way,” Flamm said.

From Heathfinder.gov…  “One reason for the conflicting reports, the authors said, was that ‘allergy’ was defined differently in various studies — sometimes broadly and sometimes narrowly, as in seasonal allergies alone. Further studies are essential, they said.”

Interesting beginning.

Read the MSNBC  entire article here

Additional information at Healthfinder.gov

For more information on Brain Cancer

NYCallergydoctor.com

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The Peanut Puzzle, The New Yorker food allergy discussion

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting discussed changes in recommendations pertaining to food allergies, and today’s edition of  The New Yorker reiterates some of those concerns.

Composed by Jerome Goopman, The Peanut Puzzle asks “Could the conventional wisdom of children and allergies be wrong?

Central to the article are Dr. Hugh Sampson, the director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and Dr. Scott Sicherer, a pediatric allergist who is also at Mount Sinai. Their extensive studies throughout the United States that show that the rate of allergy is rising sharply, estimating that three to five per cent of the population is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, or seafood.

Observations of differing cultures and child rearing practices relative to childhood food allergies question the belief that children are far less likely to become allergic to problematic foods if they are not exposed to them as infants. Sampson and other specialists believe that early exposure may actually help prevent food allergies.

Included in the article, Dr Gideon Lack of St. Mary’s London believes that a child becomes tolerant to a variety of food proteins through exposure in the first six months of life. Lack’s research has gradually gained influence with leading allergists, including Hugh Sampson. Sampson believes that some eighty per cent of infants who are allergic to eggs or milk will outgrow the allergy by their teen-age years, and that preventing them from being fed products with these foods may prolong the time that takes.

The Peanut Puzzle reviews childhood food allergy rates by different cultures and geographic regions. For example, Isreali children show very little peanut allergy due to a early exposure to a popular snack, Bamba.  And non-western cultures, without prepackaged baby foods and blenders, chew their young children’s food before administering the meal to the child,  facilitating a breakdown of complex proteins by enzymes in the adults’ saliva.

The radical shift in practical food allergy prevention can be confusing.  Please consult you healthcare provider.  Do not make any changes in allergy treatment plans without consulting your physician.

Is your family affected by childhood food allergies? If you have questions, concerns or would like a consultation, please contact my office at 866-632-5537 or book online at NYCAllergyDoctor.com

Read The Peanut Puzzle Abstract or with a digital subscription read the entire article

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