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Researchers find potential cause of food allergies

Category: Allergy Testing

Positive food allergies tests are becoming a much more common phenomenon for young people in the U.S. The cause of the growing prevalence of these autoimmune disorders has eluded scientists for the past couple decades, but a group of researchers may be getting closer to an explanation.

A team of scientists from the University of Pennsylvania recently reported in the journal Nature that children who have higher expression levels of the TSLP protein may be more likely to develop food allergies, as well as other autoimmune conditions like eczema and hay fever.

The researchers found that mice bred to over-express the TSLP protein had higher levels of a certain type of white blood cell that is known to cause inflammatory responses, the kind associated with allergies.

The team said they think this finding could eventually lead to the development of medications that prevent these types of allergic reactions from taking place.

It may be a long time from now when scientists are able to create these drugs, but the fact that researchers are increasingly coming to understand what produces allergic reactions may be reassuring to children who suffer from food allergies and their parents.
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