Thursday, June 23, 2011

Food Allergy & Children

According to a recent study, Food allergies may affect nearly 6 million children in the U.S.

I heard about this study from US biotek.  US biotek is the company that supplies the food allergy kits I use on kids and adults to identify food allergies.  This is a fantastic test that has helped many patients with eczema, psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)  find relief.

To learn more about the food allergy test, check out the clinic's website.

US BioTek Laboratories News

Food allergies may affect nearly 6 million children in U.S., study estimates

Los Angeles Times - June 20, 2011
A recent study published in Pediatrics, 2011 suggests that food allergies affect a significant number of children in the US. This study, the largest of its kind, surveyed nearly 40,000 US households with one or more children less than 18 years of age. Based on the data collected, the researchers found that food allergies affect 8.0% of US children or about 6 million. Of those children, 30.4% had multiple food allergies and 38.7% had a history of severe reactions. The most common allergies reported in the survey were peanut (25.2%), milk (21.1%) and shellfish (17.2%).

A well-known hallmark of food allergy is the production of IgE antibodies to a protein or epitope of the problem food. An allergy of this type develops when food-specific IgE antibodies, bound to tissue mast cells and basophils, present in the skin, gut and respiratory tract, come into contact with, and bind the circulating allergen. This binding activates these cells to release inflammatory mediators including histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines. These compounds cause much of the discomfort associated with allergy including stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and swelling. Exposure to a minute amount of the allergenic food can provoke a reaction.

Food allergies may involve more than one immune mechanism. The classic Type I, acute onset IgE-mediated reaction has been the most thoroughly studied for its close association in asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis and food allergies. Elevated serum IgE against several allergens has been demonstrated in many of these instances. Further, IgE-mediated allergies hold special importance as the induced anaphylactic reaction is potentially life-threatening in some people.

The prevalence of food allergies has shown a remarkable upswing over the past 10 to 20 years across all ages and it is a biological mystery as to why we see this trend. There can be a genetic influence to developing allergies. Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children. But certainly this cannot account wholly for the epidemic rise that we have seen over the decades. The manifestations of allergy are the result of the complex interaction between genetics, nutrition, immunity and environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke and pollutants that can increase the antigenic response.

Sound laboratory testing remains an essential clinical tool of the practitioner for proper patient screening and care.

US BioTek Laboratories offers testing from serum for IgE antibodies specific to common food and inhalant allergens through semi-quantitative ELISA. Our ELISA utilizes validation protocols traceable to World Health Organization (WHO) IgE guidelines for enhanced immunoassay performance. For full test panel information on our allergen-specific IgE, please click here.
Gupta, R. S., Springston, E. E., Warrier, M. R., et al. (2011). The prevalence, severity, and distribution of childhood food allergy in the United States. Pediatrics. DOI:

1 comment:

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    John Smith