What part of peanuts causes allergy

Peanut Allergy: Early Exposure Is Key to Prevention

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What part of peanuts causes allergy

Francis Collins

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With peanut allergy on the rise in the United States, you’ve probably heard parents strategizing about ways to hold their kids from developing this potentially dangerous condition. But is it actually possible to prevent peanut allergy, and, if so, how do you go about doing it?

There’s an entirely new strategy emerging now! A group representing 26 professional organizations, advocacy groups, and federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has just issued new clinical guidelines aimed at preventing peanut allergy [1]. The guidelines propose that parents should introduce most babies to peanut-containing foods around the time they start eating other solid foods, typically 4 to 6 months of age.

While early introduction is especially significant for kids at specific risk for developing allergies, it is also recommended that high-risk infants—those with a history of severe eczema and/or egg allergy—undergo a blood or skin-prick test before being given foods containing peanuts. The test results can assist to determine how, or even if, peanuts should be introduced in the youngsters’ diets.

This recommendation is turning older guidelines on their head.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

In the past, pediatricians often advised parents to delay introducing peanuts and other common causes of food allergies into their kids’ diets. But in , the thinking began shifting when a panel of food allergy experts concluded insufficient evidence existed to show that delaying the introduction of potentially problematic foods actually protected kids [2]. Still, there wasn’t a strategy waiting to assist prevent peanut or other food allergies.

As highlighted in a previous blog entry, the breakthrough came in with evidence from the NIH-funded Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) trial [3].

That trial, involving hundreds of babies under a year ancient at high risk for developing peanut allergy, established that kids could be protected by regularly eating a favorite peanut butter-flavored Israeli snack called Bamba. A follow-up study later showed those kids remained allergy-free even after avoiding peanuts for a year [4].

Under the new recommendations, published simultaneously in six journals including the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, every infants who don’t already test positive for a peanut allergy are encouraged to eat peanut-enriched foods soon after they’ve tried a few other solid foods.

The guidelines are the first to offer specific recommendations for allergy prevention based on a child’s risk for peanut allergy:

  1. Infants at high risk for peanut allergy—based on severe eczema and/or egg allergy—are suggested to start consuming peanut-enriched foods between 4 to 6 months of age, but only after parents check with their health care providers. Infants already showing signs of peanut sensitivity in blood and/or skin-prick tests should attempt peanuts for the first time under the supervision of their doctor or allergist.

    In some cases, test results indicating a strong reaction to peanut protein might lead a specialist to recommend that a specific kid avoid peanuts.

  1. Infants with mild to moderate eczema should incorporate peanut-containing foods into their diets by about 6 months of age. It’s generally OK for them to own those first bites of peanut at home and without prior testing.
  1. Infants without eczema or any other food allergy aren’t likely to develop an allergy to peanuts.

    To be on the safe side, it’s still a excellent thought for them to start eating peanuts from an early age.

Once peanut-containing foods own been consumed safely, regular exposure is key to allergy prevention. The guidelines recommend that infants—and particularly those at the greatest risk of allergies—eat about 2 grams of peanut protein (the quantity in 2 teaspoons of peanut butter) 3 times a week.

Of course, it’s never a excellent thought to give infants whole peanuts, which are a choking hazard. Infants should instead get their peanuts in prepared peanut-containing foods or by stirring peanut powder into other familiar foods.

They might also attempt peanut butter spread on bread or crackers.

In recent years, peanut allergy in the U.S. has almost quadrupled, making it the leading cause of death due to severe, food-related allergic reactions. The hope is that, with widespread implementation of these new guidelines, numerous new cases of peanut allergy can now be prevented.

References:

[1] Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: Report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel.

Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

Pediatr Dermatol. Jan;34(1):e1-e

[2] Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel. NIAID-Sponsored Expert Panel., Boyce JA, Assaad A, Burks AW, Jones SM, Sampson HA, Wood RA, Plaut M, Cooper SF, Fenton MJ, Arshad SH, Bahna SL, Beck LA, Byrd-Bredbenner C, Camargo CA Jr, Eichenfield L, Furuta GT, Hanifin JM, Jones C, Kraft M, Levy BD, Lieberman P, Luccioli S, McCall KM, Schneider LC, Simon RA, Simons FE, Teach SJ, Yawn BP, Schwaninger JM. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Dec;(6 Suppl):S

[3] Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy. Du Toit G, Roberts G, Sayre PH, Bahnson HT, Radulovic S, Santos AF, Brough HA, Phippard D, Basting M, Feeney M, Turcanu V, Sever ML, Gomez Lorenzo M, Plaut M, Lack G; the LEAP Study Team.

N Engl J Med.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

Feb

[4] Effect of Avoidance on Peanut Allergy after Early Peanut Consumption. Du Toit G, Sayre PH, Roberts G, Sever ML, Lawson K, Bahnson HT, Brough HA, Santos AF, Harris KM, Radulovic S, Basting M, Turcanu V, Plaut M, Lack G; Immune Tolerance Network LEAP-On Study Team..N Engl J Med. Apr 14;(15)

Links:

Guidelines for Clinicians and Patients for Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH)

Food Allergy (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH)

Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) Study

NIH Support: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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Posted In: Health, Science

Tags: allergy, Bamba, kid health, eczema, egg allergy, food allergy, infants, LEAP, Learning Early about Peanut Allergy, nih dir, peanut, peanut allergies, peanut allergy, peanuts, pediatrics

You can't react to peanuts just from the smell.

But there's a reason this thought persists as a peanut allergy urban legend: If you smell peanuts (or peanut butter), it generally means peanuts or peanut-based products are in your vicinity, and that means you might be at risk for a reaction from peanut dust.


A Expression from Verywell

Just the smell of peanuts won't cause a reaction if you're allergic to peanuts. But the smell can warn you of the possible presence of actual peanut dust or oils in the air, and those can cause a potentially severe reaction.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

Tread with genuine caution if you're severely peanut-allergic and you believe you smell peanuts.

Thanks for your feedback!

The rate of peanut allergy has dramatically increased over the final 10 years and now affects one to two percent of the population in the United States and other Westernized countries. Severe, life-threatening allergic reactions to peanuts are common in people with peanut allergy and own resulted in dozens of deaths over the past 15 years.

In other parts of the world, such as Korea, China, and Israel, the rate of peanut allergy is much lower than that of Westernized countries. Some researchers ponder that the lower rate of peanut allergy in these countries might own to do with how peanut is processed. In Westernized countries, peanuts are commonly dry roasted; in non-Westernized countries, however, peanuts are often boiled, fried or even pickled.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

These diverse forms of processing likely alter how a body reacts to the peanut allergen.


Why Do Some People React?

Reactions that appear to involve the smell of peanuts in the air are really every about what you're actually inhaling.

As I said above, the chemical compounds that comprise what we ponder of as the "smell of peanuts" don't contain peanut protein and therefore don't cause an allergic reaction. However, peanut dust and little airborne particles of peanuts most definitely can cause an allergic reaction in someone with peanut allergy.

If every you're smelling is peanut butter, it's unlikely any dust or little pieces of peanut are floating in the air—after every, peanut butter is sticky, not dusty. One exception to this law is if you're smelling peanut butter near a nut butter grinder; it's not unusual for upscale grocery stores and health food stores to offer fresh-ground peanut butter, almond butter, and occasionally other types of nut butters.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

These machines are a genuine potential risk and you should stay away.

Similarly, if people are shelling and eating peanuts in your vicinity, it definitely can spread peanut dust in the air. That means you could be smelling peanuts (which won't cause an allergic reaction by itself), but also actually inhaling dust and peanut particles (which can cause a severe reaction). This is an issue at stadiums that serve peanuts and in some stores and restaurants that offer free unshelled peanuts for customers to snack on.

In addition, when foods are cooked, they often release oils into the air—oils that can contain allergenic proteins and cause reactions. Boiled peanuts, or certain types of Asian foods that include peanuts and peanut sauce, could pose this risk.

Finally, trace amounts of peanut products can get onto hands and be ingested by someone with an allergy, causing a reaction, even if there's no peanut dust in the air.

So if you smell peanuts, you should be careful to wash your hands before eating or moving your hands near your mouth.


How Processing and Cooking Changes Peanut Allergy

There are 3 major peanut allergens that own been described, called Ara h 1, Ara h 2 and Ara h 3. People living in the United States (U.S.) with peanut allergy most commonly are allergic to Ara h 2, especially those people with the more severe forms of peanut allergy.

It appears that the major peanut allergens are altered by how peanuts are processed when compared to raw peanuts. Roasting peanuts enhances how IgE antibodies react to Ara h 2, which could explain why people in the U.S.

What part of peanuts causes allergy

tend to own more common and more severe allergic reactions to peanuts. On the other hand, roasted peanuts are rarely eaten in Korea, where it is more common to eat pickled, boiled or fried peanuts, which seems to reduce the ability of Ara h 2 to act as an allergen. For this reason, it's likely that peanut allergy, especially severe forms, tend to be more common in Westernized countries compared to Asian countries.


Is There Currently a Cure for Peanut Allergy?

Not really.

There are a number of little studies focusing on the use of oral immunotherapy for the treatment of peanut allergy. These studies involve giving increasing amounts of peanut flour (often in gelatin capsules) to swallow on a daily basis, for a period of weeks to months. After this time period, an oral challenge to peanut is used to determine how much peanut the person could then tolerate without experiencing an allergic reaction.

A few studies own shown that after children had undergone oral immunotherapy to peanut for numerous months, they could then eat a large number of peanuts (approximately 20) without experiencing an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, almost every of these children experienced some form of allergic reaction during the course of the oral peanut immunotherapy.

In addition to the symptoms of anaphylaxis that own been reported to happen in the majority of children undergoing oral peanut immunotherapy, there are a growing number of reports of children developing eosinophilic esophagitis as a side effect of the oral immunotherapy. Therefore, as a result of the frequent, sometimes severe side effects of oral peanut immunotherapy, as well as the question of how endless the benefit of the immunotherapy will final, it is not recommended for use exterior of a clinical research setting.

This therapy is not ready to be offered by community allergists, and should only be offered by major universities or allergy training centers, or as part of a research study.

Experts on food allergies own concluded, "peanut oral immunotherapy represents a promising, potentially disease-modifying therapeutic approach for the management of IgE-mediated peanut allergy. However, currently, there is insufficient evidence in terms of long-term effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of peanut oral immunotherapy to recommend its routine use in clinical practice."


Peanut Allergy Involves Proteins

Your allergy to peanuts actually is an allergy to the specific proteins found in peanuts. These proteins are present in the peanuts themselves, and in foods made with the whole peanut.

The proteins aren't present in purified peanut oil (which is fat, of course, not protein), and that's why most people who are allergic to peanuts can nonetheless consume peanut oil without getting a reaction.

Those specific allergenic peanut proteins also aren't present in the airborne flavor and aroma compounds that create the odor of peanuts. The smell (or odor) of peanuts is contained in smaller organic compounds that are not peanut protein.

Yes, you inhale (and potentially ingest) these flavor and aroma compounds when you smell peanuts, but since they don't contain the problematic proteins, you won't react to them.

In fact, medical researchers own tested this: they exposed 30 peanut allergic subjects to peanut butter and a soy butter placebo for 10 minutes each at a range of one foot.

Although the subjects could smell the peanut butter (and the soy butter, both of which were disguised by a combination of mint and tuna fish to hold participants from detecting which was which), none of them reacted to the peanut butter.

Many of these children had a history of prior contact-based or inhalation reactions to peanuts. The researchers concluded that "casual exposure to peanut butter" shouldn't cause problems in 90% of children who are highly sensitive to peanuts. That's not %, of course, so you still should be careful.


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