Possible Causes

Why The Increase in Food Allergies?

Studies show that there has been a sharp increase in food allergies over the last 5-10 years, particularly in children. This is not limited to the U.S. but in Australia and the UK as well. A common question is why? Although no definitive answer is available, there are a few theories.

Early introduction. There are some that say we introduce peanuts at an early age which is sensitizing children. Over the years I have heard this theory as well as another theory that suggested early introduction to the allergen might be helpful.

Recently in what they are calling a “land mark study”, the LEAP study, early introduction was found to help sensitize young children. This study has caused a great deal of concern in the food allergy community. Consult your physician before giving peanuts to a “high-risk” baby.

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The hygiene hypothesis believes that our immune systems have little to fight anymore because we live in a cleaner, healthier, antibacterial world and therefore, the immune system reacts to certain food proteins and mistakes them for a threat. Recently information came out on food allergies among those who use dish washer.

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Roasted Peanuts. Some believe the use of roasted peanuts in food (heating changes the protein which the body is more likely to react to), rather than raw/boiled peanuts.

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Vaccination Theory. A lowered immune function due to increased antibiotic use, vaccinations, high processed food and pesticide use are also factors to be considered. Read More

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  • The increased use of soy in formula and other processed food (soy and peanut are both beans)
  • The increase in processed foods and potentially harmful chemicals being infiltrated into our food system.

It probably could be a combination of any of these theories combined with a genetic component. Whether or not the abundance of processed foods and GMO’s are a factor in food allergies has not been proven however, my research has made me a believer in eliminating as much of these from my families diet as possible. It can be overwhelming and I by no means am as far along cleaning up our food and our home as I would like, but I am taking small steps to improve. I thought it would be fun to share my tips, experiences and favorite finds on clean eating efforts.