Sesame allergies among Americans on the rise prompting calls for warning labels

There is no cure for food allergies.

U.S. federal law requires that foods containing one of the eight "major food allergens" - namely, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, fin fish and shellfish - must declare this on the label.

Although labeling is not required by law, sesame causes allergies in more than one million children and adults in the United States, researchers discovered - a figure much higher than previous calculations. Sesame has previously been recognized as an increasing allergy in North America as well.

Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago checked out nationally consultant survey information involving more than 50,000 households throughout the nation. It was published at the JAMA Network Open journal.

These may appear to be small numbers, however even if you happen to exclusively mixed the share of people that had a convincing or recognized sesame allergy (0.34%), that'd nonetheless quantity to about 1.1 million kids and adults within the U.S. That's the next toll than found in earlier analysis, which prompt round that 0.1 to 0.2 % of Individuals had a sesame allergy.

Researchers estimate about.49% of the United States population reports having a sesame allergy and.23% had what's called a "convincing", or true food allergy, with skin, lung, heart or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Sesame is not recognized as a major allergen, so it does not need to be declared as such on product labels.

Among individuals with convincing sesame allergy, 62.2% reported a current epinephrine prescription. Others may have been diagnosed with an allergy, but hadn't experienced symptoms.

Concerningly, one-half of children and one-third of adults with sesame allergy reported that they did not have a physician diagnosis of their allergy. In addition, the study found that four in five patients with sesame allergy have at least one other food allergy. Such testing would far exceed the practical and financial limitations of this study. The strength of the study by Warren et al and the robustness of the findings lie in the fact that their study involved almost 10 times more households than the previous USA study on the estimates of sesame allergy (51 819 households vs 5300 households in a 2011 study).

This study follows on the heels of a US Food and Drug Administration request for more information regarding the prevalence and severity of sesame allergy in the United States.

Sesame allergy affects children and adults to a similar degree, unlike allergies such as milk or egg, which often develop early in life and are outgrown by adolescence.

Moving forward, the study by Warren et al provides support for consideration of listing sesame as a top allergen in the United States and including sesame in precautionary labeling. However, questions remain. For example, among the 81.6% of participants with sesame allergy who had multiple food allergies, almost half had peanut allergy. This demands a need for multiple testing in individuals with suspected sesame allergy who also present with possible peanut allergy and points to a need for ongoing studies to further delineate the natural history of sesame allergy. The cost-effectiveness of such strategies must also be investigated.

The number of people in the United States who had sesame allergies from unlabeled food products wasn't calculated in the new study, according to Warren. But sesame isn't required to be listed on food labels.

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