Elimination Diets Increase Food Allergies in Kids
The prevailing conventional and alternative medicine allergy advice over the years has been that a person should avoid or eliminate foods they either are sensitive or allergic to – or even might become allergic to.
However, the evidence for such a notion is simply not there. Furthermore, it abandons the very premise of our immune systems. This comes not as my opinion mind you – it comes after extensive research on this topic. And proven results from numerous studies.
This is of critical concern because food allergies have doubled over the past decade among western countries.
Here is the scenario: A child with eczema is brought to the doctor’s office. The doctor asks lots of questions about the child and the mother, including whether the mother has or has had any food allergies. The mother and child leave the doctor’s office with the advice that the child’s diet should not contain any dairy, any peanuts, any eggs, shellfish or tree nuts.
Mind you the child doesn’t actually have a food allergy at that time. The doctor is simply playing off some of the research showing that children who have eczema early in life have a higher risk of having a food allergy later.
The question now becomes, will removing the possible allergic foods help the child in any way? Will avoiding those foods decrease the risk that they will become allergic later on?
No. It merely reduces the range of foods – foods that often provide important nutrients – we can eat.
And worse, it continues our allergy or sensitivity to the food.
Hey, its not my opinion. It is the conclusion from the evidence. Learn more about this evidence in the book to the right:
New research finds allergies worsened by elimination
Well now we have found yet another study that stacks up the evidence for the recommendations yielded by the research documented in this book.
This study – published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine – has determined that avoiding foods in childhood can increase the risk of allergies later on.
The study tested 640 children who were between four and 11 months of age – each with a high risk of getting food allergies. They either had severe eczema, egg allergies or both – which significantly increase the risk of having a peanut allergy as determined from other research.
In addition, the children were tested for peanut sensitivities with what is called a skin-prick test – you can read about this in my book.
Using this test, the children who were sensitive to peanuts were separated from the children who weren’t. There were 530 children who were not sensitive to peanuts at the beginning of the test.
These children were divided into two groups. For the next five years, one group was fed a peanut-containing food and the other group avoided peanuts altogether.
The elimination diet – old news and dangerous
This elimination diet, by the way, has been the prevalent advice given to mothers of children who have eczema symptoms or other symptoms of a possible food allergy – to avoid peanuts, fish, tree nuts and often gluten-containing foods during childhood.
In this study, at the end of the 60 months, the 530 children were given a food challenge using peanuts (sorry, but you can learn about food challenges in my book).
The research found that at the end of the 60 months, nearly 14 percent of the children who avoided peanuts ended up with a peanut allergy while less than 2 percent of those children who were fed peanuts were sensitive to peanuts.
This means that the elimination of peanuts from the children’s diets produced a 700 percent increased risk of having the food allergy!
Still no official change in guidelines
Following the publication of this large and clear study – which has followed numerous other studies – PBS aired a segment that announced the results, and interviewed a leading allergist on this topic – Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institutes of Health’s Allergy and Infectious Diseases Institute.
As you can see below from an excerpt of the transcript from the interview, Dr. Fauci advised that even with this clear evidence (not to mention tens of studies as I document in my book), parents should wait until this study is analyzed further and allergy panels submit their recommendations for parents. This of course could take years. Here is that part of the transcript discussing allergy research:
JEFFREY BROWN: “Translate this now for parents and for doctors. What should they do now?”
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: “Well, right now, since this study was just published literally today, what you need to do is to just wait a bit, because what we at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are going to do is going to convene and be the host of a convening of individual stakeholders, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the various allergy societies, to take a close look at the data and to come up with guidelines or recommendations.
You don’t want parents now, on the basis of this study, to go ahead and be challenging the children early on, because you have got to be careful that you don’t precipitate a reaction in a child who might actually have a reaction immediately. So you have got to be a bit careful about that. We don’t want parents on their own deciding what they’re going to do.”
Previous studies have been ignored
The point here is that many in the medical industry have ignored over a decade of research proving this point, and then when a clear study is published in one of the most prestigious journals, they still want parents to continue to follow the old recommendations.
Which were wrong.
In other words, by following the current guidelines and avoiding all these “possible allergens,” children are not only missing out on important nutrient-rich foods: They are increasing their risk – by some seven-fold – of having a food allergy to the very foods their parents have eliminated from their diets.
One might argue that this study only tested for peanuts. Yet a number of other studies have found similar findings with other allergen foods – as my book discusses. These studies – documented in major medical journals over the past decade – have been practically ignored by the U.S. medical industry thus far.
Meanwhile, a mother wanting to make sure her kids don’t have food allergies, or someone battling a food allergy or sensitivity – should know this CLEAR evidence.
Du Toit G, Roberts G, Sayre PH, Bahnson HT, Radulovic S, Santos AF, Brough HA, Phippard D, Basting M, Feeney M, Turcanu V, Sever ML, Gomez Lorenzo M, Plaut M, Lack G; the LEAP Study Team. Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants with Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 23.
Feeding infants peanuts could reverse dramatic allergy rise, study finds. PBS News Hour. February 24, 2015.
Adams C. Natural Solutions for Food Allergies and Food Intolerances: Scientifically Proven Remedies for Food Sensitivies. Logical Books, 2012.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.