Promising research into life-threatening food allergies

This is national Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Megan Lynch
May 15, 2019 - 10:35 am
Children with hay fever or allergy at the park sneezing and using tissue

© Robert Kneschke |


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — As many as one in 13 kids live with potentially life-threatening food allergies. Yet local specialists say there are promising new developments.

Dr. Josie Vitale with Allergy Asthma Food Allergy Centers of St. Louis told KMOX one of those is recent research showing benefits of early introduction of foods such as peanuts and eggs.

"I think when we learn from other cultures what we see is that when foods are introduced early, patients typically do better," Vitale said. "I think that's really infiltrating through the medical community and hopefully that will continue to decrease our rates of food allergy."

Vitale said researchers are currently studying the link between exczema and food allergies and whether controlling the skin condition in infants can prevent the development of food allergies.

"Now they're doing new studies to see if that can, in turn, decrease the rate of food allergy. To me, that would be so interesting to be able to do such a low-risk intervention like that which could really make a difference with food allergy."

Vitale's office was the first in the region to use what's called oral immunotherapy to try and reduce reactions in patients.

This is national Food Allergy Awareness Week.

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