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Brunei
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Monday, February 6, 2023
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    Inorganic food additives can make babies vulnerable to allergies: Study

    ANN/THE STATESMAN – Nanotechnologies have revolutionised food technology with changes to food production, manufacturing, and processing that are intended to make our food safer and healthier.

    Phytosanitary products, processing aids, food additives, and surfaces that touch food in storage can all transfer nanoparticles that might be consumed by humans.

    In a review published in Frontiers in Allergy today, Mohammad Issa, at the Universite Paris-Saclay, and colleagues pointed out that such a significant change to food production could have unforeseen health consequences.

    The team presented evidence suggesting that nanoparticles cross the placenta to reach developing foetuses and leave them at risk of potentially life-threatening food allergies.

    “Due to the immunotoxic and biocidal properties of nanoparticles, exposure may disrupt the intestinal microbiota’s beneficial exchanges and may interfere with intestinal barrier and gut-associated immune system development in foetus and neonate,” said correspondig author Dr Karine Adel-Patient.

    Food allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to proteins found in food.
    Children should usually develop oral tolerance, which allows them to eat without their bodies treating dietary proteins as a threat, but if the immune system or the intestinal barrier are compromised, they may instead become sensitised and develop an allergic reaction.

    Food allergies affect between two to five per cent of adults and six to eight per cent of children, and prevalence has risen sharply in recent decades.

    Environmental factors play a significant role in allergy development, and the higher prevalence in children suggests that early life environmental factors are likely key.

    Dietary practices and the environment affect gut health in young children, and the deprivation of gut microbiota and a wide range of dietary proteins can affect the development of oral tolerance.

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