Many Americans have food allergies, and the numbers are only increasing over the years. A new drug, the first approved to reduce allergic reactions to peanuts, shows promise for treating these allergies. Food allergies happen because the immune system responds to a protein from some foods, such as major allergens like eggs or seafood, leading to symptoms like hives and wheezing. There is some evidence that introducing allergens to babies earlier can help to reduce the likelihood that they will develop an allergy.
- Food allergies in children have increased 50% between 1997 and 2011 while tree nut and peanut allergies tripled between 1997 and 2008.
- While the FDA is in the process of approving a drug to reduce the severity of symptoms of peanut allergies, there is currently no cure or way of preventing allergies.
- The US requires labeling of all foods containing one of the eight major food allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat and soy.
“Nearly 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies — that’s about one in every 10 adults and one in every 13 children”