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Researchers Found Link between Food Allergy and Genetic Factors

Researchers found food allergy to be associated with skin exposure and genetics, according to a study conducted on April 6, 2018. 

This study was conducted by the researchers at the Northwestern University. In this study, researchers have linked infant and childhood food allergy to a mix of environmental and genetic factors, which must be the reason for triggering allergy. The genetics that alter skin absorbency, use of infant cleansing wipes that leave soap on the skin, skin exposure to allergens in dust and skin exposure to food from those providing infant care are factors that might cause food allergy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 4 to 6 percent children in the U.S. are affected by food allergies. Over the years, the prevalence of food allergies have only increased. However, according to the researchers, factors causing food allergy can be modified at home. Clinical evidence about food allergy in humans was used by the researchers, which led to the discovery. From the clinical evidence, they found that around 35 percent of the children suffering from food allergies have atopic dermatitis. A neonatal mouse model with skin barrier mutations was exposed to food allergens by the researchers.

Only when the food allergy is started, the skin problems due to skin barrier mutations becomes visible. Similarly, in the neonatal mice with the mutations, which had normal-appearing skin developed dry itchy skin only after the mice was a few months old. Joan Cook-Mills, a professor of allergy-immunology said, “These novel animal studies provide a basis to test interventions that will more effectively block the development of food allergy in infants and children.”