Do children typically grow out of food allergies?

22 May 2011

Question

Do children typically grow out of food allergies?

Answer

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 it's very dependent on which food we're talking about.

Chris - Do you know why?

Pam - We don't know for sure why this is, but we've 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 it's somehow easier with certain foods, like egg and milk, to develop the right sort of immunity to grow out. And perhaps that's due to small amounts of these things being in foods.

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