The Peanut Allergy Epidemic, Third Edition: What's Causing It and How to Stop It

The Peanut Allergy Epidemic, Third Edition: What's Causing It and How to Stop It

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Essential reading for every parent of a child with peanut allergies—third edition with a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Why is the peanut allergy an epidemic that only seems to be found in western cultures? More than four million people in the United States alone are affected by peanut allergies, while there are few reported cases in India, a country where peanut is the primary ingredient in many baby food products. Where did this allergy come from, and does medicine play any kind of role in the phenomenon? After her own child had an anaphylactic reaction to peanut butter, historian Heather Fraser decided to discover the answers to these questions.

In The Peanut Allergy Epidemic, Fraser delves into the history of this allergy, trying to understand why it largely develops in children and studying its relationship with social, medical, political, and economic factors. In an international overview of the subject, she compares the epidemic in the United States to sixteen other geographical locations; she finds that in addition to the United States in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Sweden, there is a one in fifty chance that a child, especially a male, will develop a peanut allergy. Fraser also highlights alternative medicines and explores issues of vaccine safety and other food allergies.

This third edition features a foreword from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and a new chapter on promising leads for cures to peanut allergies. The Peanut Allergy Epidemic is a must read for every parent, teacher, and health professional.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510726314
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 409,057
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Heather Fraser is a Canadian author, speaker, and natural health advocate and practitioner. She is the mother of a child who suffers from peanut allergies. Fraser lives in Toronto, Canada.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping restore the Hudson River, and he continues to fight for environmental issues across the Americas. He is the bestselling author of Crimes Against Nature and coauthor of Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xvii

Introduction: The Problem of Peanut Allergy 1

Part 1 The Mystery of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic

Chapter 1 From Idiosyncrasy to Multibillion-Dollar Industry 11

Chapter 2 Risk Factors 24

Geography 25

Peanut Consumption 27

Atopy: Eczema & Asthma 33

Birch Pollen Allergy 34

Th1/Th2 Paradigm Dysregulation 35

Age of Onset 37

Birth Month 37

Gender 38

Race 39

Mode of Delivery and Intestinal Flora 40

Maternal Age at Delivery 41

Socioeconomic Status 41

Large Head Circumference 43

Heredity 44

Immune System Overload 45

Vaccination 46

Ear Infections, Antibiotics & Gut Flora 47

Genetically Modified Foods & Herbicides 49

The Nocebo Effect & Owning Your Body 50

"Outgrowing" Peanut Allergy 51

Summary of Risk Factors 52

Chapter 3 Theories 53

Broken-Skin Hypothesis 54

Ingestion Hypothesis 58

Toxin Hypothesis 60

Helminth Hypothesis 63

Hygiene Hypothesis 66

Expanded Hygiene Hypothesis 69

Part 2 A History of Mass Allergy

Chapter 4 Rediscovering Anaphylaxis 75

Justified Behavior in the First Lancet Vaccination 76

A Framework for Mass Vaccination 82

The Neglected Role of the Needle: Discovering the Twin Relationship of Immunity & Allergy 87

Serum Sickness: A Precedent for an Allergy Epidemic in Children 89

Discovery of Food Anaphylaxis 92

The Origins of the Ingestion Hypothesis 94

The First Outbreak of Food Anaphylaxis 98

Chapter 5 The History of Peanut Allergy 101

Peanut Oil in Penicillin: Not the 'Smoking Gun' 101

Why Peanut? 104

Vaccine Adjuvants & Allergy: The Immunologist's Dirty Secret 108

Launching the Peanut Allergy Epidemic (1988-1994) 113

Part 3 Peanut Allergy at the Crossover Point

Chapter 6 Absorbing the Costs 127

Ingredients: Aluminum, Food Proteins, and More 127

Slippery Labels but No Smoking Gun 130

Homology of Peanut and Haemophilus Influenzae Type B 132

Vaccine Antigens as an Adjuvant in Creating Peanut Allergy 133

Toxicity of Hib-DPT in Creating Allergy 133

The Australian Example 135

The Vitamin K1 Prophylaxis 136

Idiosyncrasies: The Ability to Detoxify 138

Chapter 7 Rationalizations 141

The Crossover Point 141

Personal Postscript: Red Flags 149

PENTA Vaccine (1994-97), a Cautionary Tale for All Vaccine Consumers 151

Part 4 Fixing Allergy

Chapter 8 The Business of Breathlessness and Oozing Skin 159

Of Ectoplasm, Adrenaline and Histamine 166

Patenting Allergy 167

Che Guevara's Puffer 168

Putting Pandora Back in the Box: Anti-Anaphylaxis 169

Allergy's Battlefield 171

The Allergy Fix 172

The Ghost in the Allergy Machine 175

Appendix 179

Notes 185

Index 237

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