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Pass on Your Protective Antibodies Through Breastfeeding and Reduce Risk of Food Allergies

The media has provided lots of attention for food allergies recently. This is a good thing- more awareness is the key to prevention of chronic illness and disease. As a child, I knew few friends with food allergies - and the ones I was aware of, eggs were often the only culprit. Food allergies roughly affect 4 to 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Usually, symptoms appear in babies and children but they can develop throughout one's lifetime. And they can be caused by foods that were once well tolerated. Sorry - had to put that out there.

Now a days, food allergies seem to be so common, and with very severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis (potentially life threatening as breathing becomes impaired and the body goes into shock). Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract. They can present in one or more of the following ways: vomiting, hives, wheezing, swelling of the tongue and inability to talk, general weakness, pale or blue skin and dizziness. The following foods account for 90% of all reactions but any food can cause a reacting:

  • Eggs

  • Milk

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Wheat

  • Soy

So what can you do to prevent food allergies? Eat!!! A new study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine Women who eat peanuts, eggs, and shellfish during pregnancy protect their babies against allergies- especially if they breastfeed. Mouse experiments proved that mice that ate allergy triggering foods passed on protective antibodies (I

gG) through nursing. So if you like those foods, consider them protective medicine for your growing wee one.

Experiencing your baby or child suffer any reaction due to eating a certain food/s must be horrifying. Perhaps in the future, prenatal supplements will include IgG and lead to induce neonatal tolerance of all foods. Until then, trying to eat a balanced diet- including lots of healthy fats (avocados) , fresh produce, omega-3 rich foods (walnuts and wild salmon), proper supplementation (folic acids for sure) and fermented foods (yogurt, kifir, kim chee) will do your growing baby good, no matter what stage they are.

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