Nut Allergies May Not be as Extreme as Once Believed

Posted at 2:09 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 14:12:06-04

(WWSB) -- New studies suggest that nut allergies may not be as extreme as people - parents, in particular - once believed.

Researchers looked at the records of kids with a proven allergy to a tree nut, which include almonds, cashews or walnuts. Those are different from peanuts, which grow in the ground. 

It's long been believed that if a kid was allergic to one type of tree nut, he or she should avoid all others - but, in many cases, such precaution may be unnecessary.  

Take this study, explained by Dr. Timothy Johnson, for example.

"When the doctors did an allergy blood test on the other kinds of nuts, if blood reaction to the tree nut family were below certain levels, most kids, 86 percent, in fact, were safely able to eat other nuts," Johnson said.

"This doesn't mean parents should stop being careful about what their kids eat," Johnson continued. But the results from the allergy blood test brought good news nonetheless. The kids in the study were monitored after eating nuts and their sensitivity had been medically measured as relatively low.

"What this does mean is that perhaps, over time, some kids will be able to eat more nuts after checking with their doctors," Johnson said. "That's something that is sure to keep their parents from going nutty."