Studies Agree: Adult Onset Food Allergy Is On The Rise

The prevalence of food allergy has dramatically increased over the past two to three decades, and not just among children.

Preliminary results from a national study, led by Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a researcher at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, reveal nearly 52 percent of Americans with food allergies experienced the onset after age 18.

Why Did You Visit This Website?
I have a peanut and/or nut allergy
100%
A family member has a peanut and/or nut allergy
0%
I might have a peanut and/or nut allergy
0%
I am just looking for information
0%
Total votes: 3

The study, a survey of over 40,000 adults, was sparked by accounts from worldwide medical conferences that a growing number of adults were reporting food allergies.

Besides confirming a greater incidence of adult onset food allergy, the Gupta study showed that shellfish is the most common adult food allergy, followed by peanuts, and then tree nuts. Though many children outgrow their food allergies, those that develop in adulthood tend to be lifelong.

Why The Increase?

Why more adults are developing food allergies is a question of interest for Dr. Gupta and colleagues, so they asked the study participants what they believed triggered their allergies. The answers included moving to a different part of the country, hormone changes, and the effects of viral illnesses.

Researchers generally think there may be several factors contributing to adult onset food allergy, for instance:

  • Vitamin D. Three-fourths of the U.S. population lacks sufficient vitamin D, and scientists have found an association between vitamin D deficiency and food allergy development.
  • Chemicals. Potential allergens in our food supply - pesticides, herbicides, additives, and other chemicals - have increased greatly over the past couple decades.
  • Further, many pesticides used today have an antibiotic action that can decimate gut microbes, including a common bacterium called Clostridia. Research suggests that Clostridia protects against the development of food allergies.
  • Genetic Modification. Genetically modifying food may be increasing the level of protein allergens in our plants, and could be creating new, difficult to detect allergens as well.
  • Soy, a common allergen, is used as a filler in many of our processed and packaged foods. Unlike the fermented soy consumed in Asian cultures, the soy filler used in Western food is not fermented, and may be genetically modified.
  • One study found genetically modified (GM) soy contained an unexpected protein likely to trigger allergies. Other test results showed that cooked GM soy contains up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor - a known soy allergen - than cooked non-GM soy.

It’s difficult to know whether, or how much GM foods are responsible for allergy increases since long-term studies to determine their safety are not required.

Confirm Suspicions

The Gupta study is not the only one tracking the age of allergy onset. Research conducted by Food, Allergy, Research and Education (FARE) showed that of people with food allergies, at least 15 percent will develop them after turning 18. However, not all upsetting food reactions are caused by allergens.

Adults experiencing disturbing symptoms after eating certain foods are recommended to see a doctor who can determine if the symptoms are owed to food allergy, or a food intolerance. Food intolerance occurs in the digestive tract. Food allergies are a systemic immune response.

Though both intolerance and food allergy symptoms are distressing, allergies can cause immediate life threatening reactions that sufferers - and their family and friends - need to recognize, and be prepared to treat.

Source: Mercola
Photo credit: Joshua Rappeneker

Community

Latest Post by eloisapolen761725 Fri, 09/20/2019 - 8:44am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by blprestangen Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:06pm
Comments: 12
Latest Post by mom2two Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:03pm
Comments: 18

More Articles

Do you think you may have a food intolerance? Many people make it to adulthood without realizing they have a food intolerance because they have...

With only a casual understanding of Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) some people assume that simply feeding children a bit of their problem food, in order...

Babies usually show the same peanut allergy symptoms as older children as adults. It is estimated that up...

If you have a mold allergy, you’ve likely been advised to remove all sources of mold from in and around your house. But it doesn’t stop there....

You may be surprised to find that peanut butter is used to make many products. Someone who has a peanut...

More Articles

More Articles

What if, while attending a summertime family picnic, a food-allergic child shows signs of anaphylaxis. In a panicked instant, adults realize the...

Are the signs of nut allergies different than those of peanut allergies? Many people who have an allergic reaction after eating a peanut butter...

There is much buzz in the news about the potential health benefits of fecal transplants, and some of that benefit may extend to people with food...

If you or your child has a food allergy, a doctor or allergist might have talked to you about “co-factors.” Allergy co-factors are substances,...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Oyster sauce is used for a variety of recipes, including as an earthy dressing for noodles, vegetables, and stir-fries, or as a base for other...

The high incidence of food allergy in children, and the reason many kids eventually...

Parents of children with food allergies often share tips about safe foods, allergy-friendly restaurants, and other experiences and challenges of...

Because food allergies are so common among children today, a great idea for sharing information with other classmates is to incorporate the topic...

When a child is diagnosed with peanut allergy, the implications ripple past the parents to rattle the rest of us - older siblings, grandparents,...

Your best defense against anaphylactic shock is to know what you’re up against. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction....

Inhalers Sometimes Contain Soy

Many people use inhalers to take the drug albuterol to help their asthma or allergies, and those with COPD...

Some people with shellfish allergy have concerns about consuming sea salt that might be contaminated with traces of shellfish. Though there are...

Nearly 25 percent of children with a peanut allergy will outgrow it. However, there is a small risk...