Winter 2017 Food Allergy Research Roundup


This Fall produced some interesting developments in the area of food allergy research. One study focuses on a protein linked with asthma that may shine some light on healthcare professionals’ ability to predict the efficacy of allergy therapy in specific patients, while another offers evidence of a correlation between food allergies and aluminum-containing vaccines. We also found an interesting case that delves into the predictability of childhood food allergies and asthma.

Food Allergies Linked with Allergy Amplifier Linked with Asthma

Individuals with food allergies often feel robbed of being able to enjoy many aspects of life. Experiences like eating out at a restaurant can be a nerve-racking experience, sometimes turning out to be dangerous. LJI researcher Toshiaki Kawakami, M.D., Ph.D. understands this and hopes to help prevent food allergy reactions through the discovery of an allergy amplifier that is implicated in asthma.

In a 2012 study, a small protein called histamine-releasing factor (HRF) was found to play a pro-inflammatory role in asthma, yet according to a study released in The Journal of Clinical Investigation on November 13, 2017, HRF also has been found to act as a “food allergy amplifier.” The paper reports that a certain biochemical mechanism that governs HRF activity may be the starting point for predicting which patients respond to allergy therapy. There is also hopeful evidence that drugs designed to block HRF may be an answer to the alleviation of food allergy reactions. Perhaps someday, food allergy sufferers will be able to eat at a restaurant without worrying as much by taking a more effective oral inhibitor as a preventative measure.

Aluminum-Containing Vaccines Linked with Food Allergy

Concerned parents have noted the low incidence of food allergies, along with other autoimmune diseases, in unvaccinated children in comparison to the skyrocketing rates of their vaccinated peers. As it turns out, parents are not the only group noticing this difference. Extensive research has also documented the difference, including a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, which notes that the era of food allergy began with post-millennials who received new immunizations as young children.

The study documents the IgE of a young girl who has both a peanut and cow’s milk allergy. When she was between 8 and 12 months old, her total IgE had decreased from 61.4 to 44.1, while her peanut IgE decreased from 13.6 to 11.2. Her cow’s milk IgE also decreased, from 3.84 to 2. She then was administered 12-month vaccines, which caused her IgE to significantly increase. Her total IgE soared from 44.1 to 75.6. Her peanut IgE increased from 11.2 to 16.5, while cow’s milk grew from 2 to 5.06. The study concludes that vaccinations containing aluminum increase both total and food-allergen specific IgE.

Food Allergies and Asthma May Be Predictable by Age 1

It has been said for a long time that infants with atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema are at higher risk of developing allergic rhinitis and asthma in later childhood, a development referred to as “the atopic march.” But a new finding from a study in Canada may help doctors better predict which children will actually develop these conditions.

Over 2,300 Canadian children participated in the CHILD study where researchers evaluated the presence of both AD and allergic sensitizationat one year old. When the children reached their third birthdays, they were then given a clinical assessment to determine the presence of complications like allergic rhinitis, asthma, AD and food allergy. This study offers an alternative method of identifying at-risk children to healthcare professionals.