A baby born in the United States today has a 1 in 12 chance of developing food allergies from foods such as peanuts, dairy, gluten, soy and other foods.*
The rate of reported severe allergic reactions to foods like peanuts has increased by nearly 500% over the past decade, according to a new analysis of private insurance claims.
The increase use of antibiotics have been primarily blamed for this phenomenon, and also rising rates of C-sections, and an increasingly sterile environment, all affect the microbiomes of babies and mothers says Hugh Sampson, director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. All have altered the good bacteria in our intestinal tracts, which alters the programming of our immune systems.
A baby’s intestinal tract gets populated with probiotics when traveling through the mother’s birth canal and through a mother’s breast milk. So when a pregnant or nursing mother’s intestinal flora is out of balance due to a leaky gut syndrome or any other reason, her baby’s intestinal flora may also be out of balance causing gas, diarrhea, colic, eczema and food allergies and a compromised immune system.
Probiotics can populate a pregnant or nursing mother’s breastmilk which can help prevent food allergies in kids.
The results of a most recent follow up study shows that probiotics can help prevent peanut allergies in kids. More than 80% of children who received a combination of a probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy treatment for 18 months were able to tolerate peanuts at the end of the trial and 4 years after compared to less than four percent in the placebo group.†
6 Potential Causes of Food Allergies in Kids
1. Antibiotics: antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria in the gut, but also the good or friendly bacteria that kids need to help digest and protect their immune system. Children’s probiotics can repopulate your child’s gut with friendly bacteria.
2. C-Sections: (Can alter the normal bacterial flora in the intestines and affect the immune system).
3. Increased Consumption of Processed Foods & Decline in Traditional Real Foods: The processed foods today are full of ingredients and chemicals that can disrupt our digestion, immune system, hormone balance, behavior and neurological development. Babies and children are especially at risk to these processed foods because their digestive systems are not fully developed to handle these types of foods.
4. Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) . In the United States GMOs are present in the majority of packaged foods and currently have no labeling requirements. These foods can contain allergens that can be toxic to children.
5. “Leaky Gut” in Pregnant or Nursing Mom: I put this new expression in quotations because it has not yet been fully excepted as a medical term and your doctor may even shrug you off. Leaky Gut, also known as intestinal permeability is when particles from your intestines leak into your blood stream. This can cause inflammation throughout your body and changes in the gut flora possibly leading to a variety of diseases and allergies. Not that much is known about the causes and cures of leaky gut but probiotics may help.
6. Avoiding highly allergic foods in kids: Many years of medical advice telling parents to avoid highly allergenic foods such as peanuts when children are babies may have contributed to increasing allergy rates, says Hugh Sampson, director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Earlier this year medical organizations changed their advice recommending that babies at high and moderate risk of developing a peanut allergy, such as those with eczema, be introduced to these foods by the age of six months.††
Vaccines have been a controversy regarding kids and food allergens. The argument against vaccines is that some of the ingredients in vaccines may contain food allergens that can affect your child. Argument for vaccines is they can prevent your child from contracting serious diseases.
As a parent, you and your doctor(s) need to measure the risks of vaccinating your child vs not vaccinating your child. I think it would be irresponsible of me (like I have read in other posts) to suggest to a parent not to vaccinate their child especially not knowing the medical history of a child and parent.
5 Tips to Help Prevent Food Allergies in Children
1. Take probiotics 6 months before your pregnancy and during nursing.
2. Eat healthy foods and avoid processed and GMO foods.
3. Try to reduce the use of antibiotics. Take them only when absolutely necessary (good discussion with your doctor and pediatrician).
4. With the advice from your doctor, consider introducing peanuts and other potential causing food allergens to your infant based on this year’s Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States which now recommends that babies at high and moderate risk of developing a peanut allergy, such as those with eczema, be introduced to the foods by six months.††
5. Breastfeed: If you can’t breastfeed add allergen-free probiotics to baby formula.
† Published: Long-term clinical and immunological effects of probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy after treatment cessation: 4-year follow-up of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Peanut immunotherapy: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: 15 August 2017
††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 is available at http://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206(16)31164-4/fulltext