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Marshmallows and Gummy Bears

Published November 11th, 2013 in Blog

There are all kinds of allergies today to foods other than nuts, eggs and shellfish. As it turns out your child’s gummy vits or those marshmallows in the holiday pistachio salad may be someone’s undoing.

This last week a study headline caught my attention: “Allergic to Gummy Bears? Be Cautious Getting the Flu Shot” Nov. 8, 2013 — “Do marshmallows make your tongue swell? Gummy bears make you itchy? If you’ve answered yes and are allergic to gelatin, you will want to take some precautions when getting the flu shot. A case report being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting notes individuals with a gelatin allergy can have a mild to severe reaction from the shot.

Now I routinely get clients with food allergies, but this was a first for me, and the connection to flu shots added to my interest. The research article went on to say; “Gelatin is used in the flu shot, as well as other vaccines, as a stabilizer.” “Because it is found in the vaccine, those with a known allergy to gelatin can experience allergic reactions, such as hives, sneezing and difficulty breathing.” Gelatin can contain proteins derived from cow, pig or fish. Gelatin can be found in a variety of foods and pharmaceuticals, including gummy vitamins, marshmallows and candy. 1

Fact or Fiction, what is the truth about allergies or sensitivities may be hard to find. From gluten allergy, hypoallergenic pets, to avoiding flu shots because of an egg allergy, there are common myths and misconceptions about allergies. Where did all of these misconceptions come from? “Many early medical beliefs have been proven to be incorrect as research has advanced,” said allergist David Stukus, MD, ACAAI member and presenter. “Unfortunately, some of these beliefs are still on the Internet, where an astonishing 72 percent of users turn to for health information.” 2

Here are a few Myth Busters for You:

  1. I’m Allergic to Cats and Dogs, but Can Have a Hypoallergenic Breed — Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog or cat. Allergens are released in saliva, sebaceous glands and perianal glands. It’s not the fur people are allergic to.
  2. I’m Allergic to Shellfish and cannot have iodine imaging – Radiologists and cardiologists often use iodinated contrast during CT scans and other procedures for better imaging. This is not the same form of Iodine found in foods but many physicians have linked a contrast reaction to a shellfish allergy. A shellfish allergy has nothing to do with the reaction and it is unlikely the Iodine necessary for human glandular health, is the cause as most allergies are associated with a peptide.
  3. Blood tests are accurate… information from laboratories companies like LabCorp, reviles tests are not as conclusive as you might think. Many lab tests may have a 50 percent or greater error rate as is the case with gluten and allergy tests. While there are lab tests through companies like Cyrex that are showing a ninety percent accuracy rate for gluten, these tests are not widely used or understood my medical providers.

Allergies verses sensitivity; I have foods that trigger inflammatory responses, that does not mean I am allergic to them. This is often the case with many individuals; it is the dumping of insulin or sugar into the blood stream that drives a reaction, such as inflammation. Other chemicals routinely found in processed foods effect neurotransmitter function in the brain triggering migraines, headaches and fuzzy brain. Over time the delicate villi located in the small intestine becomes compromised from environmental factors, and harmful gut bacteria overgrowth, leads to leaky gut syndrome.

A Healthy Gut Means a Healthy You….Over the last few months the science pages have been filled with information on the benefits of healthy gut bacteria, the use of probiotics for everything from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Throughout the world bacteria rich fermented foods are consumed daily, but not so in the United States. Most of these foods are not even allowed into the US for fear of food poisoning. But I eat yogurt every day you might be saying….over 90 percent of the active cultures in commercial yogurts are dead by the time you purchase them in the store.

So what does this have to do with Gummy Bears and Marshmallows: – clean the processed sugars and foods out of your diet, eat more fruits and vegetables and lean meats from local producers, take high quality probiotics and you like me may find the flu passes you by; and allergies are no longer ruling your life.

To Your Good Health

1. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) (2013, November 8). Allergic to gummy bears? Be cautious getting the flu shot. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/11/131108090127.htm?
2. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) (2013, November 7). Defining allergy fact from fiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/11/131107093830.htm

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