Childhood Allergy Culprits Exposed

Childhood Allergy Culprits Exposed

Additives in junk food can seep into babies in the womb and trigger changes linked to the development of allergies, a study claims. 

The finding — based on a review of around 170 studies — may partly explain why allergy rates have rocketed in the US and Britain over the past two decades.

Researchers found that tiny particles added to sugars, sweeteners and preservatives used to make sweets, cakes and syrups can cross the placenta and reach the fetus. The nanoparticles accumulate in the gut and disrupt the babies' microbiome, they say.

Mountains of research show that high-fat diets during pregnancy can wreck babies' immune systems and leave them prone to a host of health issues.

A total of 5.6million American schoolchildren have allergies. The US has seen its rates double in about a decade, rising from two percent in 2007 to eight percent today. The UK has seen a similar rise.

In the latest research, scientists combed through databases for studies on the effect of additives in food on the body's bacteria and immune system. A total of 168 research papers were extracted, including studies carried out in the lab, on rodents and in humans.

They focused on three additives found in many processed foods — including titanium dioxide, which is used in popular candies, salad dressing and chewing gum to give a smooth texture or to work as a white colorant.

The study also looked at silicon dioxide, which stops foods from caking or sticking together, and nanosilver, a preservative used in food packaging to extend the shelf-life of snacks.

The scientists found lots of evidence that, in mice, nanoparticles found in these additives can cross the placenta and enter the gut of children. But they said there were also some signs this can happen in humans, too.

The gut does not absorb the tiny particles; instead, they clump together and disrupt the surrounding bacteria. 

Because the microbiome is so connected to the immune system, the researchers theorize it could be playing a role in the development of allergies.

Because allergies in children are more common than in adults, researchers argue this boosts their theory. 

The review article was published today in Frontiers in Allergy.

Our advice to "separate from Sodom" and withdraw from the modern world is not only about geography and morals. It is also about things as mundane as what you eat, drink and wear. Corporate greed makes slow-acting poisons a risk inherent in almost everything that consumer capitalism shoves in your and your family's faces with their insistent and insidious advertising campaigns. The less of their overpriced junk you buy and use the better chance you and your children have of being healthy, fertile and long-lived. It takes effort, but what can be worth more?