A long-awaited clinical trial has found that small children who avoided peanuts for the first five years of their lives were up to seven times more likely to wind up with a peanut allergy than kids who ate peanuts at least three times a week.
The trial results offer fresh support for the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which ties the rise in allergies and autoimmune disorders to the ultra-sterile environment made possible by antibacterial soap, disinfectants and other cleansers that have become staples of modern life.
All of this unnatural cleanliness robs the immune system of the opportunity to develop resistance to germs and other substances that humans used to encounter on a regular basis.
The result is less immune tolerance — and more allergies. About three percent of children in developed countries are now allergic to peanuts, the study authors say. The rate in the U.S. has tripled over less than two decades, according to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
KFBK 1530 AM interviewed Rubina Inamdar, MD, Allergist, Mercy Medical Group, about the study and the medical group’s food desensitization program, which includes desensitization to peanuts and tree nuts. KFBK also interviewed Geena Lee, mother of 10-year-old Michael Lee, who eats six grams of peanuts every day as part of a maintenance dose of the MMG program.
Mercy Medical Group is a service of Dignity Health Medical Foundation, with more than 350 providers in 21 locations in the greater Sacramento area. During the Sacramento allergy season, watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion and wheezing can affect your ability to sleep, work and perform outdoor activities. Allergies can even lead to severe symptoms such as asthma.