Science Questions

Do children typically grow out of food allergies?

Sun, 22nd May 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Scratch 'n Sneeze - Science of Allergies


Stephanie Bartel Milner asked:

Do children typically grow out of food allergies?


Pam -   Well that depends on the food allergy.  So if you had egg or milk allergy as a young child, there's a very good chance of growing out, but if you had a peanut allergy, only a tiny minority of the very mild ones might grow out.  So itís very dependent on which food weíre talking about.

Chris -   Do you know why?

Pam -   We donít know for sure why this is, but weíve done some research on egg allergy, looking at those who resolve and those who persist, and we can see changes in the immune system.  The development of these T regulatory cells and various chemicals they produce occurs in the children who grow out of egg allergy.  So it may be that itís somehow easier with certain foods, like egg and milk, to develop the right sort of immunity to grow out.  And perhaps thatís due to small amounts of these things being in foods.


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