Food Allergies Most Prevalent In Australia
Food allergies are increasing all around the globe; however, it was recently revealed that Australia has the highest number of individuals who suffer from food allergies. An annual scientific meeting of the Australasian Society of Child Immunology was where results of the latest research were presented in early September of this year.
Food allergies are a global phenomenon. At the annual meeting, Professor Johan Garssen with the Department Immunopharmacology, Utrecht, the Netherlands, presented the latest research on how to manage this immunological disorder. In developed countries, about 20% of the population suffer from asthma and allergic diseases, which seem to be most prevalent in children. It seems that about 3% of the pediatric population has become allergic to the protein in cows' milk. Asians are experiencing a rapid rise in asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis.
Professor Garssen offered various hypothesis to explain the prevalence of diseases which are allergy related in Australia as well as other countries. He hypothesized that many of these issues may be related to environmental factors, a failure of immune tolerance, diet, air pollution and microbial exposure in both pre-natal and postnatal development.
According to Garssen, human milk not only contributes to a strong immune defense in infants, but that breast feeding has a protective effect on various immunological diseases. Human breast milk contains compounds such as fatty acids, cytokines, carbohydrates, immunoglobulin's, lactoferrin and other health protecting compounds.
To date, no therapies have been designed that actually cure food allergies, although scientists continue to research and explore the underlying mechanisms and role of specific dietary factors.
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