Why Hardly Anyone In Israel Is Allergic To Peanuts

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

– [Narrator] The U.S. has
an epidemic on its hands. Peanut allergies. Between 1997 and 2008, the number of American children with a peanut allergy has tripled. And today, an estimated 1.8 million kids in the U.S. have one. That’s larger than the entire
population of Philadelphia. And the U.S. is not alone. The UK, Canada, and Australia
have seen a similar rise in child peanut allergies. But, that’s not the case for
other countries like China, Thailand, Korea, the
Philippines, and Israel. So, what do these countries
have that the U.S. doesn’t? (curious music) In Israel, there is a joke
that the first three words out of every toddler’s mouth
are: abba, which means dad, ima, which means mom, and Bamba. Bamba is a popular peanuty snack. An estimated 90% of Israeli families buy it on a regular basis. And guess what? The peanut allergy rate
in Israel is 1/10 the rate that it is in the UK. And in China and Thailand, many children eat peanut
rice porridge for breakfast. And wouldn’t you know it? Peanut allergies are
relatively low there too. But this could be a coincidence, right? Thank goodness we have the researchers at King’s College London. They recruited 640
infants 4 to 10 months old who were at risk of
developing a peanut allergy. Half of the kids in the study
ate peanut snacks regularly. Whereas the other half were
told to avoid peanuts entirely. Then when the kids were 5
years old, they were brought in for one final experiment. All of them were instructed to eat some type of peanut protein. Of the kids who ate peanut
snacks regularly since infancy, 3.2% had developed a peanut allergy. But the kids who avoided
peanuts altogether, were much worse off. More than 17% of them
had developed an allergy to a nut that they had never consumed. That means they were six
times more likely to develop a peanut allergy than kids
who regularly ate peanuts. Of course, this is just one study. But if you know how allergies
work, it begins to make sense. When someone with a peanut
allergy encounters a peanut for the first time, their immune system kicks into overdrive. In this case, it sees
the peanut as a threat. And it produces antibodies in anticipation for a future encounter. So the next time this
person eats a peanut, antibodies activate an immune response which the person experiences
as an allergic reaction. Scientists aren’t sure
why some people experience reactions and others don’t. But they think that early
exposure can certainly help at risk infants. And luckily, allergies
aren’t always set in stone. In a clinical trial earlier this year, doctors recruited children
with peanut allergies. They gave them a small
dose of peanut powder and slowly increased the dose over time. Sure enough, the children’s
immune systems became accustomed to the powder
and nearly all of them were able to build up a tolerance to it. This process, called
desensitization, is a way of tricking your immune system. And it could, if used
correctly and safely, become a way to treat children who have a mild reaction to peanuts. And although results have
been promising so far, these treatments are not a cure. What’s more, scientists
suspect that genetics may also play a role
in allergy development. So, before you take
matters into your own hands and start feeding your babies
peanuts, talk to a doctor and make sure that you’re in the clear. After all, like everything in life, peanuts should be enjoyed in moderation.

100 thoughts on “Why Hardly Anyone In Israel Is Allergic To Peanuts

  1. Translation:
    Peanuts are not meant to be eaten by humans, but with a bit of encouragement and training we can convince the body otherwise.

  2. How did the study cited get approval?! Even the slightest hint of risk killed my first four dissertation proposals. Did I need to bribe someone? Look at the great research that got done here!

  3. I'm not sure about other cuisines, but in Chinese and probably Korean cuisine, we mostly boil peanuts which softens them. It's easier for the body to break down. Stray hard chunks of peanuts may irritate the body.

  4. I’m allergic to peanuts and I have one question, what do peanuts taste like?

    Plus apparently I’m allergic to seafood, but when I eat. I don’t have a allergic reaction. The biggest food I’m allergic is peanuts.

  5. Building up tolerance to a potential antigen is a bit more nuanced than time and amount of exposure. Basically, your body produces different types of immune response depending on the route of the initial exposure. When the initial exposures are through eating, this trains the body to recognize the antigen as safe (known as oral tolerance). It's how our bodies don't react to food that we eat. If the initial exposure is through the skin, you're more likely to develop a reactive immune response to the antigen. Once that response is established, it is then difficult to gain tolerance to that antigen. This is why oral exposure to potential food allergens is crucial.

  6. What you’re also forgetting is voluntary Caesarean sections and increase in Caesareans. These deprive kids of a huge dose of gut flora, giving them a greater likelihood of developing allergies, obesity and a host of other conditions. Many studies explore this

  7. When my son started solid food one of the first things I did was to put peanut butter on my finger and feed it to him.
    He’s almost 40 and loves everything peanut.
    His Mom ate peanuts during his gestation and while breastfeeding so it wasn’t really new to him.

  8. I don't have any food allergies (or non food). I was exposed to all kinds of foods as a kid. American children are very sheltered from food and germs.

  9. Raise your hand if you live or lived in Philadelphia


  10. I am work in hospitality industry in Sydney Australia I think people here have too much food allergic issues. Such as peanut, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, gluten,dairy,,, I am from China I barely heard anyone have food allergies problems there.

  11. That almost sounds like a peanut vaccine. Interacting with a small dose improves the immune system's response to the threat in a way, peanuts in this case. Though hopefully no one decides to be anti-peanut treatment over this comparison.

  12. I still sneeze like 20 times in a row when I am exposed to dust and weather changes, then the sneezing turns into Postnasal Drip then Bronchial Asthma attacks. Even if you tell me to expose myself to what I’m allergic to, it never works as I really have a different Immune System

  13. In Africa and Asia peanut allergies barely exist.

    Not bringing race into anything but it’s mostly the white countries have peanut allergies.

    It’s just tolerances and culture.

  14. When I found out what happens to my friend when she eats peanuts she said that she gets inflated and red lips.

    Then I said to her
    Well keep eating peanuts so you can get Kylie Jenner lips, (she didn't do it)

  15. When I was born, people said to avoid peanut, but I don't have a peanut problem. (Note, that I might had a peanut allergy, but when I was told I could have peanuts, I scarfed them down like they were candy. So I might had a peanut allergy).

  16. if you want the punchline and don't want to watch the video it's : wait for it…….Desensitisation

    If you think I'm interested at all in answering replies I'm not. Just watch the video.

  17. Parents don't give nuts to their children because they are a choking hazard – just grind them up in a blender and feed them a teaspoon or two once a while.

  18. We're going to have meat allergies too in the future if we force our children to be vegans and vegetarians from an early age. Kids should eat some meat and fish.

  19. Ima is pronounced like how you would say internet, not the way you did it… Also Bamba is pretty much like Chocolate, EVERYONE eats it in here, even if not always if you see it in a party you will eat some.

  20. Here in Germany, there's a similar snack as Bamba. It's called Erdnussflips (pl.), meaning "peanut flips". It's also popular here.

  21. I live in Israel and as a baby I had peanut allergy and eating bamba actually solved it today I can freely eat peanuts or anything that contains peanuts. and bamba is one of my favourite snacks

  22. A funny thing happened on the way to a peanut allergy. Okay Israel, hand over the Bamba's. You have a big market in the US, UK, AUS & CAN.

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