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Genetics May Play a Role in Food Sensitivities

By Expert HERWriter
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Allergies related image Photo: Getty Images

For those of you that have been following my blog, you know that food sensitivities and food allergies are always of interest to me because they affect so many of my patients. Food sensitivities and food allergies are different.

Sensitivities can be a transient problem that doesn’t create a lasting potentially dangerous immune response. A person can develop multiple sensitivities with only one food being the direct cause of the symptoms.

Sensitization to a food doesn’t always progress to a food allergy. However, children with sensitivities are more susceptible to developing an allergy later in life.

In the September 5 online edition of Pediatrics, there was a study that looked at the relationship between food sensitivities and race. The study was conducted on over 1,000 children born at Boston Medical Center.

Between the ages of two and three, the children’s immune response was tested to see if they had developed food sensitivities to one or more of the foods that tend to become allergies in patients.

The foods tested were eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, shrimp, walnuts, wheat and cod. The study found that children of African ancestry have higher rates of food sensitivity than children of European decent.

The children that were identified as black also had higher rates of food sensitivity than white children. The researchers believe that genetics may play a role in food sensitivities or allergies.

What I find important about being able to identifying food sensitivities early is it helps create a health plan for patients. While food sensitivities are not life-threatening they can slow the healing process of other problems. Identifying and removing the offending foods can help speed the overall healing process.


"Food Allergy: MedlinePlus." National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2011. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/foodallergy.html.

Pittman, Genevra. " Black race, African ancestry tied to food allergies| Reuters." Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2011.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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