People who are allergic to peanuts might be taking a big risk if they kiss someone who has just eaten a peanut product even if that person has brushed his or her teeth, according to research by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Study: Peanuts And Kissing
For this study, researchers wanted to determine how much peanut allergen lingered in saliva after eating a meal, and after brushing teeth.
The 10 people in the study ate two tablespoons of peanut butter in a sandwich, and their saliva was then collected and tested. It was tested again after they cleaned their teeth.
The peanut allergen remained in the saliva immediately after the meal, and even after teeth were cleaned or rinsed. One hour after eating, the allergen level in six of the seven subjects was undetectable.
The study authors suggest that people wait several hours after eating an allergen before kissing anyone.
The possibility of having a severe allergic reaction after kissing someone who has eaten peanuts was highlighted in the case of a 15-year old Quebec girl who died after kissing her boyfriend. However, the coroner later determined that the cause of death was a severe asthma attack, and not a peanut-contaminated kiss.
Study: Teenagers And Allergies
Another study found that teens took risks with their food allergies.
"Teenagers are at high risk of dying from food anaphylaxis, and we wanted to see why," says study senior author Dr. Scott Sicherer, an associate professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "Is it because they think they are invincible or because they are forgetful?"
Researchers asked lT4pattictpants, ages 13 to 21, to fill out questionnaires. In total, 75% of the individuals had a peanut allergy or two or more allergies; 82% had had anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can cause death; and 52% had had more than three such reactions during their lifetime.
Overall, 74% of respondents said they always carry epinephrine, the standard antidote for anaphylaxis. But the percentage varied greatly depending on what activity they were participating in-940/o said they carried epinephrine when traveling, but only 43% said they carried it when playing sports.
In addition, 75% said they always read food labels. However, 42% admitted they would eat a food that had a label indicating that it "may contain" an allergen.
Only 60% of teens told friends about their food allergy. And although 68% felt that educating their friends would make life easier, most did not want to undertake it themselves.
More Studies On Allergies
Additional research found that adults who had a severe allergic reaction to food and were prescribed epinephrine auto injectors (EAIs) were not properly trained in using the device and had not received adequate follow-up from a health, care professional.
Other researchers found no evidence indicating that mothers who ate peanuts while pregnant or breast-feeding increased the risk of their children developing a peanut allergy.