03 December 2012

New Study linking Food Allergies to Pesticides

A New Study was just Released on how Food Allergies and Pesticides might be linked.

Food Allergies are a global issue, with over 150 million people diagnosed.  There is no known cause and no known cure, except strict avoidance. Worldwide, there are 10 top food allergens but over 300 known food allergies/intolerances. This article was released today about a possible link as to why some food allergens might be caused. This is U.S related medical research and might only pertain to Americans, but helpful in further studies. 

The study reported that high levels of dichlorophenols, a chemical used in pesticides and to chlorinate water, when found in the human body, are associated with food allergies. "Our research shows that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can possibly weaken food tolerance in some people, causing food allergy," said allergist Elina Jerschow, M.D., M.Sc., ACAAI fellow and lead study author. "This chemical is commonly found in pesticides used by farmers and consumer insect and weed control products, as well as tap water." Among 10,348 participants in a US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006, 2,548 had dichlorophenols measured in their urine and 2,211 were included into the study. Food allergy was found in 411 of these participants, while 1,016 had an environmental allergy. "Previous studies have shown that both food allergies and environmental pollution are increasing in the United States," said Dr. Jerschow. "The results of our study suggest these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies." While opting for bottled water instead of tap water might seem to be a way to reduce the risk for developing an allergy, according to the study such a change may not be successful. "Other dichlorophenol sources, such as pesticide-treated fruits and vegetables, may play a greater role in causing food allergy," said Dr. Jerschow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase in food allergy of 18 percent was seen between 1997 and 2007. The most common food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish. Food allergy symptoms can range from a mild rash to a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. The ACAAI advises everyone with a known food allergy to always carry two doses of allergist prescribed epinephrine. A delay in using epinephrine is common in severe food allergic reaction deaths. Provided by American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-12-food-allergies-pesticides-blame.html#jCp
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  1. Very helpful information, but what does it mean? If we eat only organic, will this stop more people from getting food allergies? With this information, will there be a cure for food allergies, in the near future?

  2. Researchers have noted there is both an increase in both environmental pollution and the number of people who suffer from food allergies. It might just be a consequence, but the most current study suggests that these two phenomena are possible linked. If you are concerned about the link between DCP and food allergies as it undergoes further research, you can best protect yourself and your family by buying produce that does not use common pesticides such as organically grown foods, and you can install a water filtration system to reduce your exposure.
    A follow up article to this can be found at: http://www.teatronaturale.com/article/4051.html

  3. Peter Olins, PhD • One more example of the current spate of statistical fishing expeditions.

    Has anyone read the whole paper (rather than the press release?). Do the authors offer any evidence for a cause-effect relationship? Do they offer any mechanism or rationale?

  4. Donald Scott • Peter,

    Don't you think that there's an association between the use of pesticides (and other chemicals such as OP's) and compromised immune function? This association is not of the A+B=X variety, but more of the A+B+?=X variety, where X=illness.

    Just because you cannot precisely define ? doesn't make B insignificant. In fact it makes it even more important for B to prove its lack of toxicity?

    You can imagine I like organic produce, and am prepared to pay the premium.

  5. Lori Kelch • I think food allergies are a result of a convergence of factors, pesticides being one. Genetically modified foods, vaccines, and lack of essential nutrients may be factored in here as well. The important point is that food allergies are increasing exponentially as food pollution increases.

  6. Donald Scott • One other area that is an avoidable source of antigenic challenge is the premature introduction of cow's milk to neonates. We are still seeing maternity wards being subjected to the influence of powdered milk manufacturers pressure. Hospital departments are receiving financial enticements for their babies to receive formula from day 1.

    That means no colostrum, less intimate maternal bonding, less rooting reflex development etc., and a less than optimal start to motherhood and the skills required to begin a baby's healthcare.

    In the UK there are still the vast majority of baby's receiving less than 6-8 weeks mother's milk (NTC stats). Many mothers still don't realise the benefits of 6 months breast feeding for their babies, and are not being encouraged or supported by community maternity services.

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