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Friday, August 12 • 11:30am - 12:10pm
Childhood Food Allergies: an Evolutionary Mismatch Hypothesis

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Through placental transfer, breastfeeding, and the introduction of first solid foods, children are exposed to a wide range of food antigens. During the Plio-Pleistocene those early exposures would have matched the food antigen exposures expected over the remaining lifespan. With the advent of farming, long-distance trade, and the steady march of advancing technology, the potential for mismatch between early and late food antigen exposure has been increasing--slowly at first, and exponentially in the past few decades in countries where cuisine has rapidly become less and less insular. In turn, since the induction of immune system tolerance must be accomplished early in the lifespan, and since selection has accordingly honed the process to work best in the very young, each increase in the mismatch identified above is expected to produce a corresponding increase in childhood food allergies. Supporting evidence is presented.

avatar for Paul Turke

Paul Turke

MD, PhD, Turke & Thomashow Pediatrics
As an anthropologist (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1985) I helped to found the field of cooperative breeding in humans. I was a Fellow with the University of Michigan's Evolution and Human Behavior Program from 1986-1990, where I participated as one of the original four members... Read More →

Friday August 12, 2016 11:30am - 12:10pm MDT