Scientists at Kings College London have tested ways to prevent food allergies using food. The idea is that exposure enables a child's immune system to recognize and tolerate the allergens.
Infants were exposed early to six common food allergens-- peanuts, eggs, milk, fish, wheat and sesame -- from 3 months of age and a 20 percent reduction was seen, which although beneficial was not significant.
Dozens of foods can cause allergic reactions. Milk is one of the most common allergenic foods. Under U.S. law, foods containing a major food allergen must have labels that identify these ingredients.
Allergic reactions include hives, rashes, itching, vomiting and swelling, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Eggs (pictured) along with peanuts and milk are among the three most common allergens.
Many people are also allergic to fish. There is currently no cure for food allergies. People with food allergies and sensitivities should carefully read labels.
Sesame, unbeknownst to many, is also a common food allergen and can trigger responses, including anaphylaxis.
Tree nuts such as almonds, pictured, walnuts and pecans are a frequent source of allergic reactions. Even a trace amount can be dangerous to some individuals.
Wheat is another top food allergen. It is an ingredient found in many foods, including breads, cereals, flours and even some beverages.
Soybean allergies are particularly common in babies and children. Many children outgrow their sensitivity, but the allergy can continue into adulthood.