The Danger of Peanuts

Peanut allergies can be so severe and hit so fast that if an allergic person encounters a peanut it could mean almost instant death. Cases of peanut allergies have doubled over the past 10 years. To get you the latest information I brought some questions to Dr. Mary Ann Michelis, the Division Chief of The Department of Allergy and Immunology and Director of The Center for Allergy, Asthma, and Immune Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Dr. Manny: What is the latest research on peanut allergies?

Dr. Michelis: At the UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Saxon and colleagues are hoping that by combining peanut allergens with segments of IgG antibody, they will be able to reduce the peanut's allergen potential, and create injections to reduce allergic reactions to peanuts.

Dr. Manny: What are the current treatment options available?

Dr. Michelis: Unfortunately, the current treatment is avoidance. One must know how to read food labels and avoid peanuts, monkey nuts, mandelonas and nut meat, all of which may have peanuts as an ingredient.

Dr. Manny: How can parents prevent peanut allergies in their children?

Dr. Michelis: It is impossible, but it is advisable to avoid exposing children 15 months and younger to peanuts or foods that may contain peanuts such as enchilada sauce. Breastfeeding moms must not use moisturizer on their breasts or nipples that contain peanut oil.

Dr. Manny: Can you get peanut allergies as an adult?

Dr. Michelis: Absolutely. Food allergies occur more frequently in childhood, but can occur for the first time in adulthood.

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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit