Peanut Allergies, The Roasting May Trigger The Reaction

peanuts-recently-pulled-up-from-under the dirtThe peanut is really not a nut, but a legume (bean). The plant grows its precious nuttiness under the dirt. That’s why peanut shells are sometimes so filthy.

Allergic reactions from foods like peanuts affect more than 3 million people in the United States.

mouse-eating-peanutsIn an article (Dry roasting enhances peanut-induced allergic sensitization across mucosal (ingestion and injection) and cutaneous (skin) routes in mice) from The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, published Sept. 21,2014, shows that when peanuts are dry roasted, mice were more likely to develop allergic symptoms. This is much less likely to occur in mice given raw peanuts.

When scientists observe countries like Asia, peanuts are usually eaten boiled, fried or raw. These populations have a very low allergic response to consuming peanuts versus the United States. The majority of peanuts in the U.S. are roasted.

When peanuts are roasted, proteins within the nut change the way they look to the body. In many cases, this stimulates the immune system to recognize this roasted protein as foreign invader. Our body attacks this alien protein, which may trigger a range of allergic reactions. They can go from itchy skin to full-blown anaphylactic shock. This head butt from the immune system can cause death if not treated immediately. Healthcare professionals usually resort to using an Epi-Pen™ (shot of adrenalin) to save the patient’s life. These are available by prescription only. They are an easy-to-use, fast way to completely neutralize the reaction.

If roasting proves to be the problem, then we can easily eliminate one of our most common food allergies. More mice and higher life form studies are needed to prove this theory.


Photo credit: Peter McCarthy / Foter / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: CIFOR / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: actionhero / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: simi_lf / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA





Categories: Food, Health, Medications, Nutrition, Science-Technology

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