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Health - Wellness
Are Peanut Allergies Genetic?
By CIARA LUCAS
There is evidence that genetic factors may play a part in the development of peanut allergies, as several studies have shown that a person is more likely to have a peanut allergy if a relative is allergic. Researchers are exploring non-hereditary causes of peanut allergies as well, including environmental factors and dietary choices.
Allergist and immunologist Dr. Jaclyn Bjelac explains that “the cooking method affects [peanuts’] allergenicity,” and roasted peanuts are much more allergenic than other methods of preparation. One way to identify a peanut allergy is by testing it out slowly and with professional guidance.
Another method of finding a peanut allergy is having a doctor perform a skin prick test, where a patient is exposed to peanut extract, and their reaction is observed. If a peanut allergy is found, individuals should avoid all peanut products and foods that may be at risk of cross-contamination.