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April 1985

Elimination Diet Therapy in Allergic Children—A Word of Caution

Author Affiliations

Clinical Immunopharmacology, Allergy, and Asthma 11750 W Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80215

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(4):330. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140060012004

Sir.—It is quite paradoxical that the progeny of our species might be compromised by improper processing of vital nutrients (exogenous, ingested antigens).1,2

The coexisting failure of hypersensitivity and immunodeficiency might have a common origin in the impaired cell-mediated immunity altered by malnutrition. Therefore, food allergy should be separated from the nutritional state of the patient. This is of particular relevance among infants with an underdeveloped immune system.3

Increased intestinal permeability in patients with food allergy leads to excessive antigenemia, thereby exposing susceptible hosts to sensitization.4 In addition, the gastrointestinal tract, once sensitized, promotes further absorption of antigens sufficient to maintain an allergic symptomatology.5 These findings are in support of separate investigations that revealed an expression of food allergy secondary to chronic inflammation.6 These observations are very critical in the induction of anaphylactic injury, since only recently has the cytotoxic potential of mast cells been