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Food Sensitivity More Likely In Black Children

September 6, 2011 by staff 

Food Sensitivity More Likely In Black ChildrenFood Sensitivity More Likely In Black Children, If you have recent African ancestry, which may be more prone to allergy to peanuts, geneticists warn.

Food allergies are more common in black children. To find out if some ethnic groups are at greater risk than others, the team of Rajesh Kumar Memorial Hospital in Chicago Children looked for a link between ethnicity and peanut sensitivity in more than 1,000 children.

The review group of the genomes of 150 known genetic markers of Asian, European and African. The team also looked for antibodies to peanut in children’s blood – high levels suggests that the immune system has overreacted to peanuts.

“For every 10 percent increase in African ancestry … there was a 25 percent increased risk of having antibody levels associated with peanut allergy,” says Kumar, regardless of whether the children were described as Hispanic or ethnically black.

When the group tested for allergies to milk, however, found that children whose mothers identified as black were more likely to be allergic to milk, regardless of their genetic ancestry (Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0691).

Genetic factors appear to be important in allergy to peanuts, says Kumar, but the sensitivity to milk may result from cultural factors.

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