What molecule causes peanut allergy

Just the smell of peanuts won't cause a reaction if you're allergic to peanuts. But the smell can warn you of the possible presence of actual peanut dust or oils in the air, and those can cause a potentially severe reaction. Tread with genuine caution if you're severely peanut-allergic and you believe you smell peanuts.

Thanks for your feedback!

People allergic to peanuts may own a new way to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions to accidental peanut exposure. It’s called sublingual immunotherapy — or SLIT — and it involves putting a miniscule quantity of liquefied peanut protein under the tongue, where it is absorbed immediately into the blood stream to desensitize the immune system to larger amounts of peanut protein.

Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the research led by first author Edwin Kim, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, shows that SLIT could offer patients a safe and effective way to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions or even anaphylaxis.

«As a parent of two children with nut allergies, I know the fear parents face and the need for better treatments,» said Kim, member of the UNC Children’s Research Institute.

«We now own the first long-term data showing that sublingual immunotherapy is safe and tolerable, while offering a strong quantity of protection.»

There are three main immunotherapeutic ways clinician scientists own developed to treat nut allergies, and every of them attempt to desensitize the immune system to nut proteins to assist patients avoid severe allergic reactions. According to Kim, about 100 mg of peanut protein can trigger a severe allergic reaction. That’s the sort of trace quantity people fear can show up in food «manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts.» For reference, one peanut kernel contains about 300 mg.

«The main thought beyond immunotherapy is not for kids to be capable to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,» Kim said.

«It’s to hold them safe from the little hidden exposures that could happen with packaged foods, at restaurants, and with other food exposures.»

One immunotherapy method involves a patch on the skin that releases a little quantity of peanut protein through the skin to desensitize the immune system. This approach has proved safe in clinical research but perhaps not as effective as researchers had hoped. It could become an FDA-approved treatment.

A second approach is called oral immunotherapy (OIT), which is currently under FDA review and a decision is expected this year. OIT requires patients to ingest a little portion of peanut protein daily, and over the course of time this can desensitize the immune system to accidental exposures.

In a large phase 3 OIT clinical trial, patients initially ingested 0.5 mg of peanut and increased the quantity to 300 mg over the course of numerous weeks and then maintained that 300 mg daily intake for the remainder of the year. This trial showed substantial effectiveness in protecting patients but some patients suffered serious side effects. A subsequent meta-analysis of OIT clinical trial data published in The Lancet in April suggested that more clinical research on OIT was needed due to the risk of serious side effects.

A third approach is SLIT.

Instead of having patients ingest peanut protein, doctors put a little quantity of peanut protein under patients’ tongues, where it is immediately absorbed. Because the peanut protein avoids digestion, patients are given much less peanut protein — about 0.0002 mg initially. This quantity then increases over the course of months to just 2 mg.

In 2011, Kim and colleagues — including Wesley Burks, MD, dean of the UNC School of Medicine — conducted a little study of 18 patients to show that SLIT was safe and effective over the course of one year. Since then, Kim and colleagues followed 48 patients in the SLIT protocol of 2 mg daily for five years. In the JACI paper, the researchers showed that 67 percent of these patients were capable to tolerate at least 750 mg of peanut protein without serious side effects.

About 25 percent could tolerate 5000 mg.

Kim’s data shows SLIT was about as effective as OIT, though the SLIT study was much smaller. And SLIT posed much less risk of serious side effects. The most common side effect was itchiness around the mouth that lasted about 15 minutes and did not need treatment. No one left the multi-year study because of side effects.

«SLIT participants tolerated between 10 and 20 times more peanut protein than it would take for someone to get sick,» Kim said. «We ponder this provides a excellent cushion of protection — maybe not fairly as excellent as OIT — but with an easier mechanism (sublingually) and, as far as we can tell correct now, a better safety signal.»

Kim’s lab has finished a separate SLIT study of 4 mg daily for 55 patients over the course of four years.

He hopes to publish results later this year. «With sublingual immunotherapy, we hope we can maintain our safety profile while seeing an even stronger benefit for patients,» Kim said.

Kim and colleagues are also studying SLIT in a subset of children ages 1 to 4 because separate OIT data indicated these youngest patients own a stronger, more lasting benefit to immunotherapy.

«We focus on the thought there is no one perfect drug for food allergy,» Kim said. «There will own to be a lot of shared decisions between physicians, patients, and parents about what method of treatment is best for each patient.

We ponder SLIT could be a excellent option for a subset of patients.»

The National Institutes of Health, the Wallace Foundation, and Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) funded this research.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of North Carolina Health Care. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  • Edwin H. Kim et al. Long-term sublingual immunotherapy for peanut allergy in children: Clinical and immunologic evidence of desensitization.

    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.07.030


make a difference: sponsored opportunity

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina Health Care. «New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety, study suggests.» ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190904090305.htm>.

University of North Carolina Health Care. (2019, September 4). New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190904090305.htm

University of North Carolina Health Care.

«New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety, study suggests.» ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190904090305.htm (accessed January 29, 2020).

The results of the mouse study may not be known for a year or longer, but it builds upon research begun several years ago involving an earlier version of Alcalase-treated peanuts. In that clinical experiment, researchers applied microscopic amounts of extracts from treated and untreated peanuts on the inner forearms of nine human volunteers with peanut allergies and looked for any skin flare-ups.

The results of this classic “skin prick” test were encouraging: Bathing the peanuts with Alcalase for three hours resulted in as much as a 60 percent reduction in the allergic response. Moreover, several participants had no allergic sensitivity whatsoever to the enzyme-treated peanut samples. Since then, Russell’s team has refined its Alcalase technique, further reducing the peanuts’ levels of Ara h 1, Ara h 2 and Ara h 6.

In the trial, though, the skin of a couple of the volunteers still reacted strongly to the treated peanuts. This underscores the challenge of engineering hypoallergenic foods: People may react to diverse peanut proteins, and some individuals are more sensitive than others.

It’s hard to guarantee that Safer Peanuts would be safe for everyone to eat, even if they contained sharply reduced levels of certain allergens. For this reason, Russell says her product is not designed for peanut-allergic individuals to consume but rather for those who already eat ordinary peanut products. Her immediate goal is for a major food brand to make a special peanut butter with Safer Peanuts that, tell, would be permitted at schools that ban regular peanut products to protect allergic students.

But below the line Russell imagines major companies using Safer Peanuts more broadly in other products, both to eliminate deadly cross-contamination in the manufacturing process and accidental consumption in snacks and foods with hidden peanuts.

What molecule causes peanut allergy

“If you own a peanut-allergic kid, this product would give you confidence to send your kid out into the world where a peanut could creep into their lives,” Russell says, though this scenario faces substantial obstacles.

To even start to attempt to realize this dream, industry experts tell, the enzyme would own to work consistently within each batch. “You would own to be 100 percent certain that it penetrated every single peanut,” explains Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. He is similarly skeptical about applying genetics to make peanuts safer. “You would own to get every peanut seed variety in the country changed.

Logistically and everything, it would be a challenge.”

Although the Alrgn Bio treatment process uses Alcalase, which has already been used in food products, the F.D.A. would most likely own to scrutinize peanuts that would be marketed as less allergenic. It remains uncertain how regulators might view claims love “hypoallergenic” or “reduced allergen.” Government regulations in the United States tightly control how claims about allergens can be made to consumers: If an alcoholic beverage, for instance, has gluten-based starting ingredients, it cannot be labeled “gluten free,” even if in the finish it contains no detectable gluten.

The makers of Omission beers, who remove gluten from barley during the brewing process using Brewers Clarex, another industrial enzyme, label their products in the United States as “crafted to remove gluten.” Still, these beers own a strong following, as does Lactaid milk, which relies on the enzyme lactase to break below the lactose sugar that causes digestive problems in some people when they consume dairy.

Genetic manipulation hasn’t worked to remove every of the allergens found in peanuts, and it faces an added hurdle, since numerous consumers are uncomfortable with the thought of genetically modified foods. The scientists bioengineering peanuts to lack allergens are hoping to eliminate genes from the final product, rather than introduce any new ones.

This can be an significant distinction in the eyes of some regulators. In April the U.S.D.A. sure that a white button mushroom genetically edited using Crispr technology to resist browning wasn’t subject to special oversight as a potential weed or pest by the agency, because the final product was free of foreign DNA. As yet, though, the F.D.A. has not approved label claims of reduced allergenicity in any foods sold in the United States.

There’s evidence that food producers may be open to adopting innovative peanuts.

In the 1990s scientists announced they had developed peanut varieties that contained higher levels of oleic acid, which is thought to be healthy for the heart and which also gives the nuts a longer shelf life. These peanuts own gained strong industry acceptance: Final year, Mars Chocolate, the maker of peanut M&Ms and Snickers, announced that its North American products would contain only this helpful by 2017. But James R. Baker Jr., an allergist who leads the nonprofit advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education, is also unsure whether you can make a peanut that’s guaranteed to be safer and whether consumers will go for it.

What molecule causes peanut allergy

“There’s a theoretical potential there,” he says. “They’ll test in the marketplace whether this is rational. That will be the acid test.”

Burks, whose research into peanut allergies opened up the field, has focused his own work on therapies that retrain the immune system of afflicted individuals by exposing them to tiny amounts of this food. He is cautiously optimistic about altered peanuts, granting that they could perhaps one day be used for this sort of retraining.

But Burks says that the goal of preventing accidental deaths by replacing peanuts for the general population with a safer version becomes ever more elusive as scientists discover more about how much the nature and strength of peanut allergy can vary from one individual to the next. “Everything we’ve learned about allergic proteins since the 1990s tells us the more we know, the harder it becomes to avert them.”

Atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition also known as allergic eczema, affects almost 20 percent of children, 30 percent of whom also own food allergies.

Scientists own now found that children with both atopic dermatitis and food allergy own structural and molecular differences in the top layers of healthy-looking skin near the eczema lesions, whereas children with atopic dermatitis alone do not. Defining these differences may assist identify children at elevated risk for developing food allergies, according to research published online today in Science Translational Medicine. The research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

«Children and families affected by food allergies must constantly guard against an accidental exposure to foods that could cause life-threatening allergic reactions,» said NIAID Director Anthony S.

What molecule causes peanut allergy

Fauci, M.D. «Eczema is a risk factor for developing food allergies, and thus early intervention to protect the skin may be one key to preventing food allergy.»

Children with atopic dermatitis develop patches of dry, itchy, scaly skin caused by allergic inflammation. Atopic dermatitis symptoms range from minor itchiness to extreme discomfort that can disrupt a child’s sleep and can lead to recurrent infections in scratched, broken skin.

The study, led by Donald Y.M. Leung, M.D., Ph.D., of National Jewish Health in Denver, examined the top layers of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, in areas with eczema lesions and in adjacent normal-looking skin.

The study enrolled 62 children aged 4 to 17 who either had atopic dermatitis and peanut allergy, atopic dermatitis and no evidence of any food allergy, or neither condition. Investigators collected skin samples by applying and removing little, sterile strips of tape to the same area of skin. With each removal, a microscopic sublayer of the first layer of skin tissue was collected and preserved for analysis. This technique allowed researchers to determine the skin’s composition of cells, proteins and fats, as well as its microbial communities, gene expression within skin cells and water loss through the skin barrier.

Researchers found that the skin rash of children with both atopic dermatitis and food allergy was indistinguishable from the skin rash of children with atopic dermatitis alone.

However, they found significant differences in the structure and molecular composition of the top layer of non-lesional, healthy-appearing skin between children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy compared with children with atopic dermatitis alone. Non-lesional skin from children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy was more prone to water loss, had an abundance of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, and had gene expression typical of an immature skin barrier. These abnormalities also were seen in skin with athletic atopic dermatitis lesions, suggesting that skin abnormalities extend beyond the visible lesions in children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy but not in those with atopic dermatitis alone.

«Our team sought to understand how healthy-looking skin might be diverse in children who develop both atopic dermatitis and food allergy compared to children with atopic dermatitis alone,» said Dr.

Leung. «Interestingly, we found those differences not within the skin rash but in samples of seemingly unaffected skin inches away. These insights may assist us not only better understand atopic dermatitis, but also identify children most at risk for developing food allergies before they develop overt skin rash and, eventually, fine tune prevention strategies so fewer children are affected.»

Allergy experts consider atopic dermatitis to be an early step in the so-called «atopic march,» a common clinical progression found in some children in which atopic dermatitis progresses to food allergies and, sometimes, to respiratory allergies and allergic asthma.

Numerous immunologists hypothesize that food allergens may reach immune cells more easily through a dysfunctional skin barrier affected by atopic dermatitis, thereby setting off biological processes that result in food allergies.


Story Source:

Materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:


make a difference: sponsored opportunity

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina Health Care. «New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety, study suggests.» ScienceDaily.

What molecule causes peanut allergy

ScienceDaily, 4 September 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190904090305.htm>.

University of North Carolina Health Care. (2019, September 4). New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190904090305.htm

University of North Carolina Health Care. «New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety, study suggests.» ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190904090305.htm (accessed January 29, 2020).

The results of the mouse study may not be known for a year or longer, but it builds upon research begun several years ago involving an earlier version of Alcalase-treated peanuts.

In that clinical experiment, researchers applied microscopic amounts of extracts from treated and untreated peanuts on the inner forearms of nine human volunteers with peanut allergies and looked for any skin flare-ups. The results of this classic “skin prick” test were encouraging: Bathing the peanuts with Alcalase for three hours resulted in as much as a 60 percent reduction in the allergic response. Moreover, several participants had no allergic sensitivity whatsoever to the enzyme-treated peanut samples.

Since then, Russell’s team has refined its Alcalase technique, further reducing the peanuts’ levels of Ara h 1, Ara h 2 and Ara h 6.

In the trial, though, the skin of a couple of the volunteers still reacted strongly to the treated peanuts. This underscores the challenge of engineering hypoallergenic foods: People may react to diverse peanut proteins, and some individuals are more sensitive than others. It’s hard to guarantee that Safer Peanuts would be safe for everyone to eat, even if they contained sharply reduced levels of certain allergens.

For this reason, Russell says her product is not designed for peanut-allergic individuals to consume but rather for those who already eat ordinary peanut products. Her immediate goal is for a major food brand to make a special peanut butter with Safer Peanuts that, tell, would be permitted at schools that ban regular peanut products to protect allergic students. But below the line Russell imagines major companies using Safer Peanuts more broadly in other products, both to eliminate deadly cross-contamination in the manufacturing process and accidental consumption in snacks and foods with hidden peanuts. “If you own a peanut-allergic kid, this product would give you confidence to send your kid out into the world where a peanut could creep into their lives,” Russell says, though this scenario faces substantial obstacles.

To even start to attempt to realize this dream, industry experts tell, the enzyme would own to work consistently within each batch.

What molecule causes peanut allergy

“You would own to be 100 percent certain that it penetrated every single peanut,” explains Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. He is similarly skeptical about applying genetics to make peanuts safer. “You would own to get every peanut seed variety in the country changed. Logistically and everything, it would be a challenge.”

Although the Alrgn Bio treatment process uses Alcalase, which has already been used in food products, the F.D.A. would most likely own to scrutinize peanuts that would be marketed as less allergenic. It remains uncertain how regulators might view claims love “hypoallergenic” or “reduced allergen.” Government regulations in the United States tightly control how claims about allergens can be made to consumers: If an alcoholic beverage, for instance, has gluten-based starting ingredients, it cannot be labeled “gluten free,” even if in the finish it contains no detectable gluten.

The makers of Omission beers, who remove gluten from barley during the brewing process using Brewers Clarex, another industrial enzyme, label their products in the United States as “crafted to remove gluten.” Still, these beers own a strong following, as does Lactaid milk, which relies on the enzyme lactase to break below the lactose sugar that causes digestive problems in some people when they consume dairy.

Genetic manipulation hasn’t worked to remove every of the allergens found in peanuts, and it faces an added hurdle, since numerous consumers are uncomfortable with the thought of genetically modified foods.

The scientists bioengineering peanuts to lack allergens are hoping to eliminate genes from the final product, rather than introduce any new ones. This can be an significant distinction in the eyes of some regulators. In April the U.S.D.A. sure that a white button mushroom genetically edited using Crispr technology to resist browning wasn’t subject to special oversight as a potential weed or pest by the agency, because the final product was free of foreign DNA.

As yet, though, the F.D.A. has not approved label claims of reduced allergenicity in any foods sold in the United States.

There’s evidence that food producers may be open to adopting innovative peanuts. In the 1990s scientists announced they had developed peanut varieties that contained higher levels of oleic acid, which is thought to be healthy for the heart and which also gives the nuts a longer shelf life. These peanuts own gained strong industry acceptance: Final year, Mars Chocolate, the maker of peanut M&Ms and Snickers, announced that its North American products would contain only this helpful by 2017.

But James R. Baker Jr., an allergist who leads the nonprofit advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education, is also unsure whether you can make a peanut that’s guaranteed to be safer and whether consumers will go for it. “There’s a theoretical potential there,” he says. “They’ll test in the marketplace whether this is rational. That will be the acid test.”

Burks, whose research into peanut allergies opened up the field, has focused his own work on therapies that retrain the immune system of afflicted individuals by exposing them to tiny amounts of this food.

He is cautiously optimistic about altered peanuts, granting that they could perhaps one day be used for this sort of retraining. But Burks says that the goal of preventing accidental deaths by replacing peanuts for the general population with a safer version becomes ever more elusive as scientists discover more about how much the nature and strength of peanut allergy can vary from one individual to the next. “Everything we’ve learned about allergic proteins since the 1990s tells us the more we know, the harder it becomes to avert them.”

Atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition also known as allergic eczema, affects almost 20 percent of children, 30 percent of whom also own food allergies.

Scientists own now found that children with both atopic dermatitis and food allergy own structural and molecular differences in the top layers of healthy-looking skin near the eczema lesions, whereas children with atopic dermatitis alone do not. Defining these differences may assist identify children at elevated risk for developing food allergies, according to research published online today in Science Translational Medicine. The research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

«Children and families affected by food allergies must constantly guard against an accidental exposure to foods that could cause life-threatening allergic reactions,» said NIAID Director Anthony S.

Fauci, M.D. «Eczema is a risk factor for developing food allergies, and thus early intervention to protect the skin may be one key to preventing food allergy.»

Children with atopic dermatitis develop patches of dry, itchy, scaly skin caused by allergic inflammation. Atopic dermatitis symptoms range from minor itchiness to extreme discomfort that can disrupt a child’s sleep and can lead to recurrent infections in scratched, broken skin.

The study, led by Donald Y.M. Leung, M.D., Ph.D., of National Jewish Health in Denver, examined the top layers of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, in areas with eczema lesions and in adjacent normal-looking skin.

The study enrolled 62 children aged 4 to 17 who either had atopic dermatitis and peanut allergy, atopic dermatitis and no evidence of any food allergy, or neither condition. Investigators collected skin samples by applying and removing little, sterile strips of tape to the same area of skin. With each removal, a microscopic sublayer of the first layer of skin tissue was collected and preserved for analysis. This technique allowed researchers to determine the skin’s composition of cells, proteins and fats, as well as its microbial communities, gene expression within skin cells and water loss through the skin barrier.

Researchers found that the skin rash of children with both atopic dermatitis and food allergy was indistinguishable from the skin rash of children with atopic dermatitis alone.

However, they found significant differences in the structure and molecular composition of the top layer of non-lesional, healthy-appearing skin between children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy compared with children with atopic dermatitis alone. Non-lesional skin from children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy was more prone to water loss, had an abundance of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, and had gene expression typical of an immature skin barrier. These abnormalities also were seen in skin with athletic atopic dermatitis lesions, suggesting that skin abnormalities extend beyond the visible lesions in children with atopic dermatitis and food allergy but not in those with atopic dermatitis alone.

«Our team sought to understand how healthy-looking skin might be diverse in children who develop both atopic dermatitis and food allergy compared to children with atopic dermatitis alone,» said Dr.

Leung. «Interestingly, we found those differences not within the skin rash but in samples of seemingly unaffected skin inches away. These insights may assist us not only better understand atopic dermatitis, but also identify children most at risk for developing food allergies before they develop overt skin rash and, eventually, fine tune prevention strategies so fewer children are affected.»

Allergy experts consider atopic dermatitis to be an early step in the so-called «atopic march,» a common clinical progression found in some children in which atopic dermatitis progresses to food allergies and, sometimes, to respiratory allergies and allergic asthma.

Numerous immunologists hypothesize that food allergens may reach immune cells more easily through a dysfunctional skin barrier affected by atopic dermatitis, thereby setting off biological processes that result in food allergies.


Story Source:

Materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  • Donald Y. M.

    What molecule causes peanut allergy

    Leung, Agustin Calatroni, Livia S. Zaramela, Petra K. LeBeau, Nathan Dyjack, Kanwaljit Brar, Gloria David, Keli Johnson, Susan Leung, Marco Ramirez-Gama, Bo Liang, Cydney Rios, Michael T. Montgomery, Brittany N. Richers, Clifton F. Hall, Kathryn A. Norquest, John Jung, Irina Bronova, Simion Kreimer, C. Conover Talbot, Debra Crumrine, Robert N. Cole, Peter Elias, Karsten Zengler, Max A. Seibold, Evgeny Berdyshev, Elena Goleva.

    The nonlesional skin surface distinguishes atopic dermatitis with food allergy as a unique endotype. Science Translational Medicine, 2019; 11 (480): eaav2685 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav2685


make a difference: sponsored opportunity

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. «Scientists identify unique subtype of eczema linked to food allergy: Children with both conditions own abnormal skin near eczema lesions, research finds.» ScienceDaily.

ScienceDaily, 20 February 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220145041.htm>.

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2019, February 20). Scientists identify unique subtype of eczema linked to food allergy: Children with both conditions own abnormal skin near eczema lesions, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220145041.htm

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. «Scientists identify unique subtype of eczema linked to food allergy: Children with both conditions own abnormal skin near eczema lesions, research finds.» ScienceDaily.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220145041.htm (accessed January 29, 2020).

Studies own shown that food allergies overall are the third most common type of feline allergy, outranked in frequency only by allergies to flea bites and inhaled substances. Although itchy, irritating skin problems are the most common signs of this allergy, an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of affected cats also exhibit gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The itching that typically signals the presence of a food allergy is caused by the eruption of little, pale, fluid-filled lumps on a cat’s skin, which form in response to the presence of an allergen, a substance to which the animal’s system is abnormally sensitive.

What molecule causes peanut allergy

“The itching eruptions primarily affect the head and neck area,” says Carolyn McDaniel, VMD, a lecturer in clinical sciences at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “They’re not always in that area, but often enough to serve as a clue that the source is a food allergy.”

In themselves, the aggravating lesions do not pose a significant health hazard. But the incessant scratching that they immediate may cause secondary skin wounds and a resulting vulnerability to severe bacterial infection. In addition, gastrointestinal problems stemming from a food allergy may own far-reaching systemic implications, including food avoidance that can result in health-compromising weight loss.

The most visible signs of a food allergy—the persistent scratching, the emergence of skin lesions, loss of hair, and a general deterioration of the coat—do not develop overnight. Instead, they tend to become evident and intensify over extended periods of time—months or even longer—as the animal’s immune system gradually mounts a defense against certain protein and carbohydrate molecules that are present in most standard cat foods. “We don’t know why this allergy develops,” says Dr. McDaniel. “A cat of any age can be affected, and it can happen in a cat that has been on the same diet for years.”

When the signs appear, a cat should get immediate veterinary care.

If a food allergy is indeed suspected, the specific allergen should be identified and removed from the animal’s diet.

After other potential causes of the skin eruptions, such as flea bites, are ruled out and a food allergy is identified as the probable cause of the clinical signs, the next challenge is to identify what precisely in the cat’s diet is responsible for the problem. This process will most effectively be carried out at home by the owner’s introduction of what is termed a “novel” diet, which is based on the fact that most feline food allergies are traceable to the protein or carbohydrate content of an affected animal’s normal fare.

The most commonly used protein sources in cat food include beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and eggs. Since protein is a fundamental component of living cells and is necessary for the proper functioning of an organism, the novel diet must contain protein—but it must be derived from a source to which an affected cat has not been previously exposed, such as venison or kangaroo meat. Since the same holds true for carbohydrates, the vegetables that are frequently used in cat foods—wheat, barley, and corn, for instance—would be excluded from the novel diet and replaced by, for example, potato.

If a cat consumes nothing but the novel diet and water for a period of at least eight to 10 weeks, it is likely that the allergic signs will gradually vanish. In that case, the owner can assume that the allergen was a component of the previous diet. And to identify the specific offending allergen, the owner subsequently reintroduces components of the cat’s original diet one by one and watches carefully for the reemergence of allergic symptoms. If the symptoms recur, they will probably do so within a week or two, in which case the owner will own confirmed at least one source of the allergy.

Through repeated systematic testing—and a lot of patience—it is possible for the owner to pinpoint every dietary ingredients to which a cat is allergic.

Therapy, it follows, requires the permanent exclusion of these ingredients from the cat’s diet.


make a difference: sponsored opportunity

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. «Scientists identify unique subtype of eczema linked to food allergy: Children with both conditions own abnormal skin near eczema lesions, research finds.» ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220145041.htm>.

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

(2019, February 20). Scientists identify unique subtype of eczema linked to food allergy: Children with both conditions own abnormal skin near eczema lesions, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220145041.htm

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. «Scientists identify unique subtype of eczema linked to food allergy: Children with both conditions own abnormal skin near eczema lesions, research finds.» ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220145041.htm (accessed January 29, 2020).

Studies own shown that food allergies overall are the third most common type of feline allergy, outranked in frequency only by allergies to flea bites and inhaled substances.

Although itchy, irritating skin problems are the most common signs of this allergy, an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of affected cats also exhibit gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The itching that typically signals the presence of a food allergy is caused by the eruption of little, pale, fluid-filled lumps on a cat’s skin, which form in response to the presence of an allergen, a substance to which the animal’s system is abnormally sensitive.

“The itching eruptions primarily affect the head and neck area,” says Carolyn McDaniel, VMD, a lecturer in clinical sciences at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“They’re not always in that area, but often enough to serve as a clue that the source is a food allergy.”

In themselves, the aggravating lesions do not pose a significant health hazard. But the incessant scratching that they immediate may cause secondary skin wounds and a resulting vulnerability to severe bacterial infection. In addition, gastrointestinal problems stemming from a food allergy may own far-reaching systemic implications, including food avoidance that can result in health-compromising weight loss.

The most visible signs of a food allergy—the persistent scratching, the emergence of skin lesions, loss of hair, and a general deterioration of the coat—do not develop overnight. Instead, they tend to become evident and intensify over extended periods of time—months or even longer—as the animal’s immune system gradually mounts a defense against certain protein and carbohydrate molecules that are present in most standard cat foods. “We don’t know why this allergy develops,” says Dr.

McDaniel. “A cat of any age can be affected, and it can happen in a cat that has been on the same diet for years.”

When the signs appear, a cat should get immediate veterinary care. If a food allergy is indeed suspected, the specific allergen should be identified and removed from the animal’s diet.

After other potential causes of the skin eruptions, such as flea bites, are ruled out and a food allergy is identified as the probable cause of the clinical signs, the next challenge is to identify what precisely in the cat’s diet is responsible for the problem.

This process will most effectively be carried out at home by the owner’s introduction of what is termed a “novel” diet, which is based on the fact that most feline food allergies are traceable to the protein or carbohydrate content of an affected animal’s normal fare.

The most commonly used protein sources in cat food include beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and eggs. Since protein is a fundamental component of living cells and is necessary for the proper functioning of an organism, the novel diet must contain protein—but it must be derived from a source to which an affected cat has not been previously exposed, such as venison or kangaroo meat.

Since the same holds true for carbohydrates, the vegetables that are frequently used in cat foods—wheat, barley, and corn, for instance—would be excluded from the novel diet and replaced by, for example, potato.

If a cat consumes nothing but the novel diet and water for a period of at least eight to 10 weeks, it is likely that the allergic signs will gradually vanish. In that case, the owner can assume that the allergen was a component of the previous diet. And to identify the specific offending allergen, the owner subsequently reintroduces components of the cat’s original diet one by one and watches carefully for the reemergence of allergic symptoms.

If the symptoms recur, they will probably do so within a week or two, in which case the owner will own confirmed at least one source of the allergy.

Through repeated systematic testing—and a lot of patience—it is possible for the owner to pinpoint every dietary ingredients to which a cat is allergic. Therapy, it follows, requires the permanent exclusion of these ingredients from the cat’s diet.


Peanut Allergy Involves Proteins

Your allergy to peanuts actually is an allergy to the specific proteins found in peanuts. These proteins are present in the peanuts themselves, and in foods made with the whole peanut.

The proteins aren't present in purified peanut oil (which is fat, of course, not protein), and that's why most people who are allergic to peanuts can nonetheless consume peanut oil without getting a reaction.

Those specific allergenic peanut proteins also aren't present in the airborne flavor and aroma compounds that create the odor of peanuts. The smell (or odor) of peanuts is contained in smaller organic compounds that are not peanut protein.

Yes, you inhale (and potentially ingest) these flavor and aroma compounds when you smell peanuts, but since they don't contain the problematic proteins, you won't react to them.

In fact, medical researchers own tested this: they exposed 30 peanut allergic subjects to peanut butter and a soy butter placebo for 10 minutes each at a range of one foot.

Although the subjects could smell the peanut butter (and the soy butter, both of which were disguised by a combination of mint and tuna fish to hold participants from detecting which was which), none of them reacted to the peanut butter.

Many of these children had a history of prior contact-based or inhalation reactions to peanuts. The researchers concluded that "casual exposure to peanut butter" shouldn't cause problems in 90% of children who are highly sensitive to peanuts. That's not 100%, of course, so you still should be careful.


Why Do Some People React?

Reactions that appear to involve the smell of peanuts in the air are really every about what you're actually inhaling.

As I said above, the chemical compounds that comprise what we ponder of as the "smell of peanuts" don't contain peanut protein and therefore don't cause an allergic reaction. However, peanut dust and little airborne particles of peanuts most definitely can cause an allergic reaction in someone with peanut allergy.

If every you're smelling is peanut butter, it's unlikely any dust or little pieces of peanut are floating in the air—after every, peanut butter is sticky, not dusty. One exception to this law is if you're smelling peanut butter near a nut butter grinder; it's not unusual for upscale grocery stores and health food stores to offer fresh-ground peanut butter, almond butter, and occasionally other types of nut butters.

These machines are a genuine potential risk and you should stay away.

Similarly, if people are shelling and eating peanuts in your vicinity, it definitely can spread peanut dust in the air. That means you could be smelling peanuts (which won't cause an allergic reaction by itself), but also actually inhaling dust and peanut particles (which can cause a severe reaction). This is an issue at stadiums that serve peanuts and in some stores and restaurants that offer free unshelled peanuts for customers to snack on.

In addition, when foods are cooked, they often release oils into the air—oils that can contain allergenic proteins and cause reactions. Boiled peanuts, or certain types of Asian foods that include peanuts and peanut sauce, could pose this risk.

Finally, trace amounts of peanut products can get onto hands and be ingested by someone with an allergy, causing a reaction, even if there's no peanut dust in the air.

So if you smell peanuts, you should be careful to wash your hands before eating or moving your hands near your mouth.


RELATED VIDEO: