Review on June 08, 2009
David Reading, director of the UK Anaphylaxis Campaign, reported to BBC News Online that, "The number of children with peanut allergy has tripled in the last decade, and it's not yet certain why this is." This is all the more reason to encourage new research to find out the reason for the increase in the peanut allergy.
The peanut allergy is a food allergy. When someone suffering from this allergy eats peanuts or is exposed to their properties topically, an overreaction occurs in their immune system. Some sufferers of the allergy experience symptoms such as as vomiting, diarrhea, hives, acute abdominal pain, asthma, and anaphylactic shock.
Though the exact cause of someone developing a peanut allergy is unknown, scientists at the University of Bristol have found a possible cause. They have discovered a link between infants who drink soy milk and peanut allergies. They set out to study babies. Researchers performed yearly checkups on the babies since their birth. Out of the 14,000 that were followed, 49 children developed a peanut allergy. Of the 49, nearly a fourth of them had consumed soy milk during the first two years of life. Dr Gideon Lack, lead researcher, said, "These results suggest that sensitization to peanuts may possibly occur... as a result of soy exposure."
Since this evidence does not prove a sure clinical link between soy milk and the allergy in later life, parents are advised not to change from soy milk until further studies confirm the findings. Still, as there is currently no treatment to prevent or cure the peanut allergy, continued research is highly encouraged. David Reading believes this study may provide some answers and he welcomes any further research.