How Do Pregnant Women Decide Which Foods To Avoid To Prevent Food Allergies in Their Children?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Karen Robbins

Dr. Robbins

 Karen Robbins, M.D.
Allergist at Children’s National Health System 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background is that mothers are often concerned that something they did contributed to their children developing food allergies. Many will relate that they ate a lot of one specific food allergen while pregnant, and question how this could have impacted their unborn child. We realized that we hear a lot of anecdotal stories in clinic, but were not sure how frequently mothers try to alter their diet in the hopes of preventing food allergy in their children. We also were not sure where families get information or guidance on this topic. Continue reading

Pediatric Allergist Discusses New Insights into Pediatric Food Allergies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Stukus, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Associate Director, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Fellowship Program Director of Quality Improvement, Division of Allergy and Immunology Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine Columbus Ohio 43205

Dr. Stukus

David Stukus, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Director, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Fellowship Program
Director of Quality Improvement, Division of Allergy and Immunology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Columbus Ohio 43205

Dr. David Stukus discusses the emerging science behind food allergy prevention.

MedicalResearch.com: How many US children are affected by food allergies? 

Response: Food allergies affect roughly 5-8% of all U.S. children, which is approximately 6 million children. This translates to about 1 in every 13 children, or an average of two children in every classroom. 

MedicalResearch.com: Are food allergies becoming more common?

Response: Yes, we know that the prevalence of food allergies have doubled over the past two decades. Unfortunately, there is no single or definitive answer as to why this increase has occurred.

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Not All Tomatoes Are Equally Allergenic

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“TOMATOES” by RubyGoes is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wilfried Schwab

Technical University of Munich
Center of Life and Food Science Weihenstephan
Biotechnology of Natural Products
Freising, Germany

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The prevalence of food allergy is an increasing health problem. Although tomatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables worldwide and have health beneficial effects lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, patients suffering from birch pollen allergy can develop cross-reactivity after consumption of fresh tomatoes.

The aim of this study was to develop an analytical method for the quantification of the birch-pollen homologous allergen Sola l 4 in various tomatoes cultivars. Furthermore, the effect of conventional or organic cultivation as well as processing techniques on Sola l 4 content was investigated. Continue reading

Synthetic Folic Acid Metabolites May Be Associated With Food Allergy in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emily Clarke McGowan, MD

Assistant Professor, Allergy/Clinical Immunology
Charlottesville, VA 22908-1355

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Folate (vitamin B9) is available in either the natural or synthetic forms and has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, like spina bifida, in newborns.  Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is widely consumed in the United States in infant formula, supplements, vitamins, and fortified grains.  When folic acid is consumed in high quantities, some of this folic acid does not undergo further metabolism and circulates in the blood as “unmetabolized folic acid” (UMFA).

In this study, we measured total folate, UMFA, and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), the main folate metabolite involved in biochemical processes in the body, in a subset of children from the Boston Birth Cohort.

While mean levels of total folate at birth were lower among those who developed food allergy, mean levels of the synthetic folic acid derivative, UMFA, were higher.  There was no association between total folate, 5-MTHF, or UMFA levels in early life and the development of food allergy.  Continue reading

Oral Immunotherapy With Omalizmuab Resulted in Faster Food Desensitization

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sandra Andorf PhD Kim and Ping Li Director of Computational Biology Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University Instructor, Nadeau Lab Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Andorf

Sandra Andorf PhD
Kim and Ping Li Director of Computational Biology
Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University
Instructor, Nadeau Lab
Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Food allergies are on the rise in the world. Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies, which includes around 6 million children. Of people with food allergies, 30-40% are allergic to more than one food and therefore these people have a greater risk for an accidental ingestion resulting in an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.

Currently there is no FDA approved treatment for food allergies but oral immunotherapy, a treatment in which the patient eats small but slowly increasing doses of their allergen until they can tolerate a specified dose, was shown in research settings to be safe in children and adults for up to 5 foods in parallel.

In this trial, we studied the efficacy and safety of Omalizmuab (an anti-IgE drug) treatment with oral immunotherapy in multifood allergic participants versus placebo with oral immunotherapy for a total of 9 months. We found that 83% of the participants who received Omalizumab could tolerate at least 2 g of at least two different food allergens at the end of the trial compared to 33% of those who received placebo. The participants that received Omalizumab were also desensitized faster, meaning they were on average able to eat 2 g of each of their allergic foods earlier in the treatment. Furthermore, we could show that the use of Omalizumab and the fast updosing is safe.

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Up To 40% of Food Allergic Adolescents Experience Severe Reactions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Peanuts” by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0Vicki McWilliam

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Food allergy affects up to 10% of children and 2-3% of adults, and appears to increasing in prevalence. The rise in food allergy prevalence has coincided with increased reports of anaphylaxis. Previous research has shown that adolescents are most at risk of experiencing adverse food reactions and appear to be at higher risk of anaphylaxis fatalities but are an understudied age group in food allergy research.

In a large population representative sample of 10,000 10-14 year olds in Melbourne, Australia we found that alarmingly over 40% had experienced an allergic reaction in the past year and almost 10% reported potentially life threatening reactions. Consistent with other research peanut and tree nuts were the most common trigger foods for reactions and those with nut allergy were most at risk of anaphylaxis. Having more than two food allergies doubled the risk of a food allergic reaction compared to those with a single food allergy. Surprisingly, reactions were found to occur most commonly at home rather than restaurants or school.

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EMSY Gene Linked To Peanut and Other Food Allergies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“Peanuts” by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Aida Eslami, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr. Denise Daley’s research group
Centre for Heart and Lung innovation
Providence Heart + Lung Institute
St. Paul’s Hospital
Vancouver, BC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Peanut allergy and food allergies in general are caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Currently, the genetic basis of peanut allergy is unclear due to a lack of studies on food related allergies.

Our study was comprised of 850 individuals with peanut allergy from the Canadian Peanut Allergy Registry (CanPAR), and nearly 1,000 individuals without peanut allergy and other food allergies. We looked at over 7.5 million genetic markers through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genes potentially associated with peanut allergy and other food allergies. Our findings are based on results from the CanPAR in combination with the results from other countries: USA, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.

We identified a gene that is associated with both peanut allergy and other food allergies. This gene is called c11orf30/EMSY and has previously been shown to be involved in other conditions such as asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis.

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Infant Gut Bacteria Linked To Later Food Sensitization

Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of AlbertaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Alberta

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Kozyrskyj: Our study determined what “good” gut bacteria were present in 166 full-term infants enrolled in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. Funded by CIHR and AllerGen NCE, this landmark study involves more than 3,500 families and their newborn infants across Canada. Gut bacteria were identified by DNA sequences extracted from infant poop.

Infants with a fewer number of different bacteria in their gut at 3 months of age were more likely to become sensitized to foods such as milk, egg or peanut, by the time they were 1 years old. Infants who developed food sensitization also had altered levels of two specific types of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and Bacteroidaceae, compared to infants who didn’t. Continue reading

Socioeconomic Disparities in Prevalence of Childhood Food Allergies

dr_julie_wangMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Julie Wang, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY 10029

 

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Wang: The results of this study demonstrate that differences in prevalence of reported food allergies exist in elementary schools representing diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic characteristic.  In this study, we conducted a survey at 4 elementary schools in New York City, 2 private schools that had a predominantly White student body with over 80% of families having paid a full tuition of over $35,000 per year and 2 public charter schools that had a primarily Black and Hispanic student body where over 90% of students qualified for free or reduced price school lunch.  The results show a high rate of reported food allergy, with rates significantly higher in the private school population as compared to the public charter school population.

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