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Children Unnecessarily Placed On Restricted Diets Because Of Faulty Allergy Blood Tests

October 29, 2010: 08:52 AM EST

Incomplete information from blood tests called serum immunoassays about potential food allergies is causing many children, especially those with eczema, to unnecessarily avoid certain foods, according to U.S. researchers, leading to nutritional risks. The researchers examined the medical charts of 125 children placed on restricted diets because blood tests indicated allergies to 177 foods, such as egg, milk, shellfish, peanut and tree nut. After many of the children later tried the restricted foods, physicians restored 84 percent to 93 percent of them to their diets. The researchers said children with known allergic reactions, especially anaphylactic reactions, should of course avoid questionable foods. But “a growing number of patients” on strict, unproven food-elimination diets end up with “poor weight gain and malnutrition,” thanks to overreliance on immunoassay tests.

David M. Fleischer, S. Allan Bock, Gayle C. Spears, Carla G. Wilson, Naomi K. Miyazawa, Melanie C. Gleason, Elizabeth A. Gyorkos, James R. Murphy, Dan Atkins, Donald Y.M. Leung, "Oral Food Challenges in Children with a Diagnosis of Food Allergy", The Journal of Pediatrics, October 29, 2010, © Mosby, Inc.
Food Safety
North America
United States of America
Research, Studies, Advice
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