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Thread: Thoughts.. Avoiding foods as children cause food allergies when older? page

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    activia's Avatar
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    Thoughts.. Avoiding foods as children cause food allergies when older?

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    I was wondering if the fact that you don't eat certain things when growing up can cause you to have food allergies to them in the future? I have seen some things about the other way around (shelfish before 3 could cause allergies) but is this true? What studies have been done? What are your experiences?

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    June's Avatar
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    I'm interested to know too! Plus, I often wonder how the mother's diet while pregnant affects the child's allergies. I'm interested to see if anyone is knowledgeable about this and can provide more information.

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    While pregnant with twins, I ate peanut-butter a couple of times a week. When they were born, I breastfed. One day I had peanut-butter for lunch, and after the following breastfeed my 12 week old son had a terrible rash appearing. He has since been diagnosed with peanut-allergy. My point being this: he got allergies long before he was even eating solids, even though he had low exposure o peanuts while I was pregnant. So I think there's more to the story than when and how they eat the foods initially.

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    My son is almost 4. I didn't follow any of the rules - he had peanut butter, honey, chocolate, shellfish, etc. way before the times he was supposed to. I also didn't introduce one food and wait to see if he had any kind of reaction before giving him the next one. He doesn't have any allergies to any kinds of foods or anything else for that matter -- at least not at this point.

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    My sense on this is that food allergies seem to result from an extreme immune response to a protein that has entered the blood stream due to intestinal permeability. It follows then that things to regulate the immune system and improve the intestinal barrier would prevent allergies.

    Vitamin D regulates the immune system, inflammation (omega 6 to 3 ratio is huge here) over excites the immune system and removing gluten and problematic lectins will result in less intestinal permeability.

    Shellfish have more proline in their proteins, which makes it harder to us to digest them and therefore more likely to enter the bloodstream as a protein compared to other proteins in the event of intestinal permeability. This is why we might get a shellfish allergy, but shellfish don't cause an allergy.

    Just a guess

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    I know that if allergens are introduced too early, before the baby has built up his/her immunity from being breast-fed, than an allergy can develop. I'm not sure that not introducing foods would result in an allergy later in life.
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    I believe the most recent studies on allergies in children indicate that ANY solid food prior to gut closure (between 5-8 months) raises the risk of allergies, as does having close relatives with allergies. Susceptibility to allergies is largely genetic, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that gut health and adequate gut flora had something to do with it too. My best guess, as a semi-professional in the realm of baby-stuff, is that the way to avoid having a kid with allergies is to 1) Have no allergies yourself. 2) Don't have sex with anyone who has allergies. 3) Deliver your baby vaginally. 4) Breastfeed exclusively until baby meets most of the developmental criteria for solid food introduction (the primary one being "starts grabbing food and stuffing his face"). 5) Don't feed your baby any kind of "staple" protein - I've seen a couple kids develop allergies to things they were fed a LOT of (eggs in one case, salmon in another).

    Oh, and further: Have pets. Don't clean your floors obsessively. Let your kid roll around on your dirty floors and lick stuff. Let your kid eat dirt. Rocks maybe be a choking hazard, but they're still tasty - give them ones that are too big to choke on. Nothing wrong with the odd bug down the hatch. Sticks are fine chew-toys for humans as well as puppies.

    And to clarify - if you've done all the above, then for heaven's sake just relax about it and give the kid a peanut-crusted prawn.
    Last edited by spughy; 11-17-2011 at 03:59 PM.

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