Rise in food allergies

Alan Greene, MD, Founder of DrGreene.com, discusses some of the leading ideas as to why there are so many more food allergies in people today
Why Food Allergies Are So Much More Prevalent Today
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Rise in food allergies

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So why are there so many more food allergies today? It really is increasing. And we don't know exactly why, but I've got several pieces that are probably contributing to it. The allergies started going up at a point in time in 1996. Now, back in 1995 or so there was almost no genetically modified food in our food supply. Today 30% of our cropland is planted in genetically modified foods. Anything that's got a corn ingredient in it like high fructose corn syrup or a soy ingredient in it or cottonseed oil in it is likely genetically modified. Is that responsible? Don't know for sure. But in animal studies where they looked at animals raised on the exact same food, except one was genetically modified and one wasn't, there were no allergies in the ones who were getting the regular food and there were allergies in the ones who were getting the genetically modified food. So maybe. I recommend skipping genetically modified foods during pregnancy and the first year of life when the immune system is really being set. But other things that may be involved, it's just the way that we feed kids. If they don't get exposed to foods before their first birthday, they're more likely to develop an allergy. And we've been holding off on some of the most common allergens, kind of doing the backwards thing. Another piece of it is that there are certain things in the diet that are helpful overall at preventing allergies. Fish is one example. And we don't give babies and toddlers fish. Omega 3 s in general are helpful in preventing allergies and we've dropped Omega 3s out of kids' diets. So there's a lot of things we can do to help prevent allergies in our kids and turn the tide on this rapidly rising problem.

Alan Greene, MD, Founder of DrGreene.com, discusses some of the leading ideas as to why there are so many more food allergies in people today

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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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