Perhaps one of the most common food allergies is the one related to peanuts, especially among children. In the last years, there have been important studies that have shown that eating peanuts helps triggering preventive and healing mechanisms while eliminating them from the diet only causes more damage.
As you can imagine the first reactions to the news were confusion, annoyment, and anger. Think about those mothers who struggled to keep their allergic kids away from peanuts following the advice of the most illustrious allergologists. They were suddenly told that their choices and habits were wrong, or at least not optimal for their children.
A beautiful study published in 2015 showed that eliminating specific food from the diet can make it not only unable to prevent the possible onset of an allergy (even severe) to that substance, but it can actually increase its risk.
The story started in 2008 when the same authors published an interesting research study. They observed a different prevalence of peanut allergy when comparing Israeli Jewish children (who tend to eat peanuts in their first year of life without limitations) to an equivalent group of British Jewish children (who instead are strongly advised to eliminate peanuts from their diet during the first years of life).
The second article evaluated the incidence of peanut allergy in children who had either avoided or eaten peanuts. At the beginning of the study, 5 years before, all the subjects were tested for positive or negative peanuts sensitivity via a skin prick test. The results were impressive. Among the children who resulted negative to the test, 13.7% of those who had avoided peanuts were found to be allergic after 5 years from the initial measurement, compared to only 1.9% of those who kept eating nuts. Among the kids with a positive skin prick test, the prevalence of allergy after 5 years was 35.3% in the group who avoided peanuts, much higher when compared to only 10.6% of those who kept eating nuts without worrying.
This means that eating peanuts can do well, especially to allergic children. That humongous figure (35.3%) of allergy cases among the children of those parents, who did everything to avoid nuts intake, should make us think carefully.
For many years, we have been claiming that “food is not an enemy”, and it is essential to help every organism regain a natural relationship with food. Since it’s the way in which solar energy becomes transferable to humans. From an evolutionary point of view, it makes no sense for people to avoid this process.
The risks produced by elimination diets, unfortunately still so popular among many nutritionists, are now well known. The articles highlight the responsibility of any professional not willing to help a patient to truly heal from an allergy. Fortunately, there are health experts who decided to work towards a real improvement of our body's immune function.
Today, it is truly possible to heal from severe milk allergies and egg-related anaphylactic reactions. Therefore, it is extremely limiting and probably detrimental to stay anchored to a reductionist way of thinking, which may eventually result negative for scientific progress but mainly damaging for those children and adults who are convinced to endure severe deprivations both useless and potentially dangerous.
It is clear that the advice of an expert allergologist is required to when a form of allergy is already present; however, it is important to clarify that regaining a physiological relationship with food is a true possibility, which cannot certainly be obtained through food elimination.