Food Allergy

Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Peanuts can leave you breathless. Cat dander can lead to itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing. And most of us have suffered through those seasonal allergies with horrible pollen counts. Learn more...

Get My Free Ebook

Other dairy products to improve infant health

Infant formulas or so called breast milk substitutes aim to provide an efficient and safe alternative diet for infants of those women who are not able to continue breastfeeding until six months of life. Infant formula can be fed directly after birth when breastfeeding is not possible follow-on formulas are designed for children after the sixth month of life. Breast milk substitutes aim to mimic the composition of human breast milk concerning protein, fat and carbohydrate composition. The only carbohydrate of infant formulas is lactose, whereas follow-on formulas contain other carbohydrates, too. Protein sources are mainly bovine whey or casein (in the standard cow's milk based formulas) or soy protein (for infants with lactose intolerance or cow milk protein allergy). The quality parameter for the evaluation of infant diets is the ability to allow normal physical growth as well as optimal neurological and mental development. Hypoallergenic formulas are commonly classified by the...

Brief Review Of The Intestinal Microbiota

From birth to death, the gut is colonized by a diverse, complex, and dynamic bacterial ecosystem that constitutes the intestinal microbiota. In newborns, it develops sequentially according to the maturation of intestinal mucosa and dietary diversification. In healthy conditions, the human baby's intestine is sterile at birth but, within 48 hours, 108 to 109 bacteria can be found in 1 g of feces (9-11). The bacteria colonizing the baby's intestine come from the environment, where maternal vaginal and fecal microbes represent the most important source of bacterial contamination. However, the infant conducts an initial selection, since, out of all the bacteria present, only the facultative anaerobic bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Streptococcus will be able to colonize the intestinal tract, whatever the diet. Conditions under which this initial selection is operated have yet to be fully elucidated. They are related to endogenous factors, such as maturation of intestinal mucosa,...

Regulation of the Immune Responses

It is interesting to compare these experimental results to those described in human neonates by Lodinova-Zadnikova and coworkers (85). In their study, they colonized the digestive tract of babies just after birth with a given strain of E. coli. In these conditions E. coli is able to establish durably in the digestive tract of newborns as described previously (86). After 10 years (preterm infants) and 20 years (full-term infants), differences in occurrence of food allergies between colonized and control subjects were statistically significant 21 versus 53 , and 36 versus 51 respectively. Furthermore, recent clinical trials using ingestion of a strain of probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, during the last month of pregnancy to women and after birth to babies during 6 months, reduced the incidence of atopic eczema in at-risk children during the first 4 years of life (87). However, in this case, IgE levels were not decreased in the treated group as compared with the placebo group. The...

Bacterial interactions

The best and first recognised effect of probiotics is the alleviation of lactose intolerance by lactic acid bacteria, mainly Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus used as yoghurt starters. The genetically programmed drop in human enterocyte lactase activity in childhood (Wang et al., 1998), as well disorders leading to small intestinal mucosa damages or increase of the gastrointestinal transit time (Labayen et al., 2001), trigger lactose malabsorption responsible for gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain and diarrhoea (Shaw and Davies, 1999). Lactic acid bacteria have proved useful in this context to improve lactose Altogether, these data suggest that, as yoghurt starters, dairy propionibacteria, in fermented dairy products such as probiotic cheeses, may help treating lactose intolerance although clinical studies are needed to confirm this. Another noticeable modulation of intestinal activity is the ability of P. acidipropionici to...

Sources of further information and advice

Review articles on food allergy, prevention and diagnosis, in addition to those mentioned in references, include the following Van Putten, M. C. Frewer, L. J. Gilissen, L. J. W. J. Gremmen, B. Peijnenburg, A. A. C. M. and Wichers, H. J. (2006). Novel foods and food allergies a review. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 17, 289-299. Zuercher, A. W. Fritsch , R. Corth sy, B. and Mercenier, A. (2006). Food products and allergy development, prevention and treatment. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 17, 198-203. Sicherer, S. H., Sampson, H. A. (2006) Food Allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, S470-S475. Ortolani, C. Pastorello, E. A. (2006). Food allergies and food intolerances. Best Practice and Research Clinical Gastroenterology, 20, 467-483.

Studies by Molecular Methods

Somewhat contrasting results to those presented by plate culture methods have also been reported. In a study of 6-month-old exclusively breast-fed infants the mean bifidobacterial numbers were not found to be lower in the feces of infants with early onset atopic eczema (n 15) compared to controls (n 10), with the exception of a small subgroup of allergic infants (n 5) that additionally had gastrointestinal symptoms. Moreover, as opposed to studies by Bjorksten and co-workers, Bacteroides numbers were higher in a subgroup of allergic infants (n 6) who were later confirmed to have cow milk allergy by challenge (44). Bacteroides numbers were also associated with cow milk allergy in a later study where the high counts correlated directly with serum total IgE concentration in a subgroup of infants intolerant to extensively hydrolyzed whey formula (n 7) (18).

Reflection of Environmental Factors

Amongst the best examples of factors which have been clearly shown to influence the development of the gut microbiota and have also been implicated in allergic diseases include the mode of delivery and breast-feeding (116-123). Indeed, it is plausible that the characteristics of fecal microbiota associated with atopic eczema and allergic sensitization may partly reflect dietary factors. It is well known that changes in diet may dramatically affect the microbial composition of the gut. Then again, in allergic infants the diet can reflect the child's health status due to food restrictions. In 39-63 of all infants and young children, atopic eczema is triggered by one or more challenge-confirmed food allergies (124-126). Moreover, the development of manifestations of allergic diseases in children correlates with differences in the composition and immunological characteristics of breast-milk, which on the other hand are affected by maternal gut microbiota and atopy (127-133). For example,...

Studies by Traditional Plate Culture Methods

The first reports associating allergy with characteristic microbial composition in the gut appear to be from studies in the former Soviet Union in the early1980s (38-40). One of these studies, reported also in English, involved an assessment of 60 under one-year-old infants with food allergy and atopic eczema. It was claimed that the severity of the disease was in direct correlation with the stage of aberrancy in the fecal microbiota. This aberrancy was characterized as low prevalence of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and high prevalence of Enterobactericeae, pathogenic species of staplylococci and streptococci as well as Candida species (39). Indication that such differences may persist beyond infancy was provided a few years later by Ionescu and co-workers (1986) who studied 10- to 45-year-old subjects. Subjects with atopic eczema (n 58) were shown to have lower prevalence of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and enterococci species than the healthy subjects (n 21) but higher...

Future trends

Other intestinal disturbances, such as IBS, are also of interest to many dairy food producers, but this area still needs further studies to prove efficacy. Also a better understanding of the mechanisms and origin of the symptoms would certainly help in the development of effective preventive and treatment agents, including probiotics. In any case, more studies are needed, specific to single strains or combinations of strains. With regard to product development, also other factors such as lactose intolerance have to be taken into consideration. The concept of lactose-free dairy products will be more easily accepted than those with a normal lactose level.


Food allergenicity is a complex topic, and the manifestations of disease and the diagnostic methods are highly variable (45). In the majority of allergic responses a specific immunoglobulin (IgE) mediates the immediate hypersensitivity reaction. Immuno-globulins (also called antibodies) are produced by the body in response to invasions of foreign compounds such as proteins. Materials that elicit antibody production (other than IgE) in an organism are called antigens. An antigen may contain multiple antigenic determinants (epitopes), which are small regions of the antigen molecule that specifically elicits the production of antibodies to which the antigen binds. In case an antigen elicits an IgE response, the antigen is called an allergen. In order to initiate a clinical manifestation of allergenic responses, it is required that the IgE form a bridge between two epitopes the allergen thus should have at least two epitopes at a certain distance from each other. Destroying the molecular...


In patients with massive diarrhea, the priority is to treat dehydration and loss of electrolytes. Other causes such as gastrointestinal infections or lactose intolerance should be excluded. Difficult to digest foodstuffs (particularly those rich in fats or glucose) should be avoided and those that are easy to digest (e.g. potatoes, rice, noodles), eaten instead. It makes sense to remember homespun remedies (see table 1).

Native Americans

In the eyes of the federal government, Native American have a different status than other minorities. They are viewed as a conquered people, poor unfortunates who must be protected, rather than independent citizens. They suffer from a variety of health problems, among which are high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, lactose intolerance, alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver, and tuberculosis. Although Native Americans have a lower than average risk for the three major killers of Americans heart disease, cancer, and stroke the high rate of other diseases and accidents during young and middle adulthood results in the shortest life span of all minority groups. Compared with a 70 rate for other Americans, only 42 of Native Americans reach age 65 (Singh et al., 1996).

Maternal diet

Maternal diet and composition of breast milk may play a role in the development of immune-mediated diseases. It has been shown that small amounts of cow's milk proteins may be carried over to breast milk from the maternal diet (Axelsson et al. 1984), and sensitive infants may develop cow's milk allergy on exclusive breastfeeding (Host 1994). Per capita coffee consumption correlated positively with incidence of type 1 diabetes in an international ecological comparison (Tuomilehto et al. 1990). However, maternal coffee or tea consumption during pregnancy was not related to the risk of type 1 diabetes in the offspring in two case-control series (Virtanen et al. 1994a Soltesz et al. 1994). A positive association was seen between maternal nitrite intake and the risk of diabetes in the child independently of the child's own intake and when adjusted for several sociodemographic factors (Virtanen et al. 1994b). Paternal use of coffee or tea or intake of nitrate or nitrite at the time of...

Respiratory Diseases

Controls referred for an unrelated disease, e.g., asthma, lactose intolerance. Resting EEG was classified into patterns related to the predominance of certain frequencies of the alpha rhythm and the co-occurrence of these rhythms with the slightly slower theta rhythm. Classifications were based on EEG observed at the parietal, P4, electrode site. Classification frequencies were then compared between the three groups. These frequencies were interpreted as showing that the control group differed from both the psychologic and odor intolerant groups, but that the latter two did not differ from each other. The exact basis for the classification of the EEG patterns was unclear, as was the claim for similarity of the psychologic and odor intolerant groups (as opposed to lack of significant difference). The further controversial interpretation was made that odor intolerant patients might project psychologic problems upon environmental stimuli.

Chapter Overview

This chapter addresses concepts used as a foundation for bowel management in patients with cancer. Because cancer treatment can be very noxious and disrupt bowel function, a preventive approach is an important part of bowel management for patients with cancer. The 6 steps to good bowel management are assessment and diagnosis of bowel dysfunction, normalization of the bowel, establishment of expectations for bowel-movement frequency, development of a bowel management program, assessment of outcomes, and adjustment of the bowel management program through problem-solving. New and innovative approaches to management of bowel dysfunction covered in this chapter are (1) differentiation between low and high impactions in the treatment of impactions (2) administration of milk-and-molasses enemas (3) use of a bowel training program for patients with constipation or diarrhea or frequent stooling and (4) use of a proven, nontraditional fiber regimen for patients with frequent stooling after...