Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Are Food Allergies as Common as Environmental Allergies?

Food allergies are definitely on the rise but probably aren't as common as environmental allergies. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three million school-aged children in the U.S. had a food allergy in 2007, which was up 18 percent from 10 years earlier.

No one is sure why food allergies are being diagnosed more frequently. One theory is that changes in kids' diets are a contributor. Another theory, known as the "hygiene hypothesis," holds that modern cleanliness provides less exposure to germs early in life and may make the immune system more prone to attack normally benign substances, including food proteins.

Source: Reuters Health 12/29/10

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