Cow’s Milk and Peanut Allergies Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Death, Study Shows

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Unrecognized food allergies, such as cow’s milk and peanuts, could be a significant and overlooked factor in the development of heart disease, according to a recent study. The research, conducted at the University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine, highlights the elevated risk of cardiovascular mortality even in individuals without apparent food allergies.

Increased IgE antibodies from cow’s milk linked to cardiovascular death

The recent project led by Corinne Keet, M.D., Ph.D., found that increased levels of the IgE antibody in response to cow’s milk are linked to cardiovascular-related death. This association held true even after considering traditional heart disease risk factors like smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure. The study suggests that individuals producing IgE antibodies to milk alongside other foods face a higher risk of cardiovascular death. This correlation was strongest with cow’s milk but was also significant for other allergens like peanuts and shrimp.

This study reveals a groundbreaking connection between IgE antibodies to common foods and an elevated risk of cardiovascular death, marking the first instance of such a link. It is crucial to note that the research does not definitively establish a causal relationship between food antibodies and heightened cardiovascular risk. Nevertheless, these findings extend previous research that identified associations between allergic inflammations and heart disease.

Individuals with IgE to their food at risk of heart mortality

According to Dr. Keet, individuals with antibodies known as IgE to their regular food items appear to have a higher likelihood of succumbing to heart disease. This revelation is surprising considering that having IgE to foods is fairly common (affecting about 15% of American adults) and most people experience no symptoms when consuming these foods. As allergists, the prevailing belief has been that the presence of IgE to foods is inconsequential as long as it doesn’t cause any symptoms when the food is consumed.

The associations discussed pertain to food sensitization rather than clinical allergy, with the research team assuming that individuals regularly consuming a food allergen without reporting allergy symptoms were not clinically allergic. Excluding those who avoided the food strengthened associations, suggesting relevance for those undiagnosed with food allergy.

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