This commonly known causality dilemma is one of the most fundamental philosophic questions evoking investigations about the beginnings of life and the universe in general since ancient times. So I found it quite interesting that latest research seemed to have found the solution to another, not so much philosophical but more immunological, interrogation:
“Which came first, eczema or food allergy”?
Or, in other words, is eczema the result or the cause of food allergy in infants?
Carsten Flohr, Gideon Lack et al. from King’s College London published their findings this July Journal of Investigative Dermatology .
To find out what causes food sensitization in young infants, they tested more than 600 three month old babies which were breastfed exclusively. The focus of examination was
– existence of atopic dermatitis (‘exzema’)
– severity of atopic dermatitis
– location of atopic dermatitis (flexural vs non-flexural)
– skin gene mutation, known as ‘Filaggrin loss of function’
– skin prick test (cow’s milk, egg, cod, wheat, sesame, and peanut)
Interestingly enough, children with eczema were significantly more likely to be sensitized (adjusted OR=6.18 (95% CI 2.94–12.98, P<0.001) regardless of the other examined factors as Fillagrin mutation and type of eczema. The severer the eczema, the more likely a child was to show a positive skin prick test.
This study shows quite nicely that in non-orally (exclusively breastfed) sensitized infants, atopic dermatitis is a major risk factor for food sensitization. It could mean that the skin and its immune structures (antigen presenting cells) lead to sensitization when affected by eczema.
Interestingly, this study is align with other findings of the group from King’s College London (Dr. H. Brough) which proved dust containing active peanut particles in the home of early sensitized infants.
To sum it up, London research strongly suggests that eczema is one of the key factors to develop a sensitization to foods in early life.
As always, this article does by no means professional advice. Please always consult with your health professional.
Summer time is peach time. Not in your house?
Well, you might be tempted after reading this recipe. It works very well with a spoonful or two of homemade vanilla ice cream.
For a 18cm diameter cake tin or 12 cupcakes you will need:
100g gluten free oat flour
100g gluten free bread flour (Doves farm)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
90g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate
pinch of salt
50g pear sauce
100ml oat milk (*if made with rice drink)
100ml sunflower oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large and ripe peaches (or canned peaches)
– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 5
– Place liners in a cupcake tray or grease your round baking tin
– Sift the flours and salt into a bowl. Add the baking powder. Stir in the sugar.
– In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, bicarb, vanilla, pear sauce and oil.
– Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. You cannot overdue gluten free batter, so combine well.
– using a large nozzle, pipe the dough into cupcake liners or a tin
– place the peach slices neatly on top of dough
– bake for approx. 30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. Avoid overbaking (cake will get dry).
– Cool on a wire rack.
– dust with icing sugar.
Best enjoyed on the day it is made. But also nice on the day after, since the peaches keep the cake moist.
# please be aware that rice drink is not recommended for children under the age of 5 due its arsenic content
… to a genuinely nice person, let us call her Mrs. Brazilmum. She and her family, BrazilKid and Mr. Brazilmum, are moving back to the Capital of the World. I only met her a couple of weeks ago, and we quickly started to share everything we knew about allergies, docs, gps, nurseries, friendly foods, etc. I will miss her loads and hope we will keep in touch over the years to come. Life is so much better if you have someone who truly understands what is going on in your life.
So farewell, not goodbye to a sensible, strong, committed, caring and very loving allergy mama. Wish you a great start with lots of caring people surrounding you.
You deserve it.
– Air Canada is to create a buffer zone for seriously peanut allergic passengers. You can request your seat here.
– only peanut free and nut free foods are to be served within the buffer zone.
– a briefing will be given by Air Canada personnel to passengers within the buffer zone that they can only eat foods that are peanut-free and nut-free and that they will only be offered peanut-free and nut-free foods as part of Air Canada’s onboard snack or meal service. In addition, Air Canada personnel is to address situations where a passenger refuses to comply with this requirement by moving the non-obliging passenger or, if necessary due to that passenger’s refusal to move, moving the person with the disability due to their allergy to peanuts or nuts to a seat where the buffer zone can be established.
Delta Airlines: let them know about your peanut allergy and they will create a buffer zone three rows in front and behind. No peanut snacks in buffer zone. Additional non peanut snacks for buffer zone. Pre-boarding to wipe down seats possible.
Lufthansa: Cannot guarantee peanut free flights, but do not serve peanuts. Passengers suffering from severe cases of peanut allergy should get in touch with Lufthansa Medical Operation Center (+49-69-696-550 77 (06:00 – 22:30 hours).
British Airways: “crew are unable to make on board announcements or alert other customers to individual medical conditions. ” Crew are Epipen trained, but expect travel companions to administer epipen. “In-flight meals do not contain peanuts or peanut products. However, we cannot guarantee meals and snacks are completely peanut free as they may be produced at a facility that handles peanuts”, and “are therefore unable to offer a peanut-free special meal.”
American Airlines: do not serve peanuts, but cannot guarantee peanut free meals. In First, they rost nuts during the flight!
Virgin Atlantic: Peanuts are never knowingly included in any Virgin Atlantic aircraft meals or snacks. However, our meals are not produced in a nut-free environment so may contain traces of nuts. And we can’t stop other passengers from bringing (or eating) their own food onboard, which may include peanuts. Nuts other than peanuts may be served on all Virgin Atlantic flights as part of the menu ingredients and/or the snack service, in all cabins. Any specific and essential dietary requirements need to be ordered through VAA’s Special Assistance department (T: 0844 412 4455)
Japan Airlines: Advance notice (14d minimum)and the airline crew will take measures, such as removal of peanut products from snack and in-flight meals. JAL do not use peanut products inside aircraft snacks for international flights, but other types of nuts may be included and served. JAL cannot guarantee that the flight is completely peanut-free.
Singapore Airlines: Do serve nuts and peanuts during flight, but cater for allergy sufferers with a nut and peanut free meal (and mention the possibility of cross contamination!). Orders take 48 hours notice via local airline office. Rated Best Airline in the World 2013