The new study finds junk food to have a compound that triggers food allergies. But many other studies believe there is more than just one factor that causes allergies with food.
Most of people love processed and junk food. The daily consumption of junk food all around the world is reaching a peak level. One factor that often relates to junk food is food allergies.
New research by University of Naples Federico II, Italy studied a group of children aging 6-12 years who had food allergies. They found that these kids to have higher levels of a certain compound which are often associated with processed and junk foods.
This study was presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition.
This particular compound that may be a link between food allergies and junk food is an end product of advanced glycation, commonly called AGEs.
Glycation is a process that takes place during the binding of sugar molecules and a protein or fat under heating. This glycation process is responsible to give a crunchy brown crust to potatoes when you fry them. This process adds flavors to the food but has no as such good effects on health. Highly processed foods have higher levels of AGEs.
The high levels of AGEs in young children with allergies clearly show that there is some missing link between these two. Experts believe this is one factor but this is not the only factor that may affect it.
The prior studies in this experiment suggest that dietary sources of AGEs also cause a high prevalence of food allergies. However, there are not just one but multiple factors responsible for the rising allergy. It is necessary to consider all of these.
Why allergies are more prevalent than before?
There is no exact cause known. In reality, food-related allergies have tremendously increased in the last two decades. There could be more than just one reason that involves both genetics and environment.
The primary factors influencing allergy rise are as follows.
- The delay in introducing any allergy-causing food (peanuts, eggs) to person
- An encounter with pathogenic microbes affects immunity and also the body’s sensitivity to allergens.
- Different changes in climate such as temperature change are making people more immunogenic and develop food allergies.
- Different dietary patterns around the world and eating processed, frozen food adds up to food allergies.
- Exposure to allergens, pollutants and different genetic factors may also aid in developing food allergies.
- An introduction to antibiotics at the earliest ages also influence on having food allergies.
Is there a way to prevent food allergies?
It is now clear that there are multiple factors that support the development of food allergies. For this reason, sticking to only one plan on allergy prevention may not be successful.
For example, peanut allergy may have a genetic link and also an environmental link. While planning a strategy to prevent it, there is nothing that can stop genetic factors but it is possible to manage environmental effects. For babies, the introduction of a variety of food may also help.
It may take time but the researchers are working on different strategies to control food allergies. They are also working on allergy vaccines. The best strategy so far is to pay attention to what you are eating. For instance, start reading labels when you go for groceries. For more information, consult your nearest healthcare provider.