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Title: A review of food allergy and nutritional considerations in the food-allergic adult

item O'NEIL, CAROL - LSU Agcenter
item ZANOVEC, MICHAEL - LSU Agcenter
item NICKLAS, THERESA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/21/2010
Publication Date: 2/15/2011
Citation: O'Neil, C.E., Zanovec, M., Nicklas, T.A. 2011. A review of food allergy and nutritional considerations in the food-allergic adult. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 5(1):49-62.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the United States, the prevalence of adults with food allergies is approximately 2 percent to 3 percent. Theoretically, any food can cause an allergic reaction; however, some foods are clearly more allergenic than others are. In adults, peanuts, tree nuts, finned fish, crustaceans, fruit, and vegetables account for 85% of the food-allergic reactions. Currently, the only ways to manage food allergies are to avoid the allergen and initiate therapy for an allergic reaction if ingestion does occur. The presence of homologous proteins among animal or plant foods and between foods and certain airborne allergens may account for cross-sensitization that may be clinically relevant. For inpatients or outpatients with food allergies, nutrient and fluid requirements are the same as for individuals without food allergies. Since patients with adverse reactions to food may self-restrict intake or have been counseled on food avoidance, it is particularly important to determine dietary adequacy and to provide patients with appropriate food substitutions to provide nutrients that may be missing from a patient’s diet. This is of particular concern for individuals with multiple food allergies. Eating away from home and traveling also pose special problems for those with food allergies.