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News2007October › Nut Allergy: It's because they never eat nuts › October 2007

Nut Allergy: It's because they never eat nuts

More and more people have become allergic to peanuts - because they have totally eliminated them from their diet

More and more people have become allergic to peanuts - because they have totally eliminated them from their diet.

This may sound paradoxical, but it's based on a range of evidence that suggests that people who have some peanuts in their early years are far more likely to overcome their allergy.

Peanut allergy is almost non-existent in countries such as Israel where children are exposed to the peanut allergen right from the start.

As such, advice from governments and doctors about avoiding peanuts at all costs is wrong, and is based on no evidence whatsoever, a UK House of Lords select committee has concluded.

Current advice in the UK that pregnant women with a family history of atopic diseases should avoid peanuts is wrong and misleading, the committee concludes. Peanut allergy in the UK has risen 117 per cent between 2001 and 2005, affecting around 26,000 people.

(Source: Allergy, a report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee. See: www.parliament.uk).

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