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New food allergy test may better predict the condition

Category: Allergy Testing

As a growing number of children develop severe food allergies, the issue has become a serious public health problem. However a new food allergy test is available that can test newborn babies for their risk of developing allergies as they grow up.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide discovered that newborns who have low levels of a certain protein in their blood are significantly more likely to develop food allergies as they get older. A simple blood test can be used to determine how much of this protein babies have.

The study's lead author, Tony Ferrante, said that knowing a child's risk factor can help parents and other care providers avoid putting their children in situations may lead to potentially dangerous food reactions.

"A protein in the immune cells of newborns appears to hold the answer as to whether a baby will either be protected, or susceptible to the development of allergies later on," he said.

More than three million children in the U.S. currently suffer from food allergies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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