This Teen’s Heartbreaking Struggle Of Being Allergic to ALL FOOD


Alex Visker, 19, suffers from an extreme allergy. He’s allergic to all food.

There’s no official diagnosis for Visker’s case, but it’s an extremely rare illness that comes from severe allergies and Mast Cell Activation Disorder, People reports. This means pretty much any type of food he eats will cause an extreme reaction in his body.

A tiny nibble of food is capable of making Visker vomit, send him into convulsions and cause bone pain. It can also drastically drop his blood pressure. The only way for him to get his required Solent-based nutrition is through a feeding tube into his stomach.

Heartbreaking illness aside, the young Visker still maintains a positive attitude. According to his mother, he cooks for his friends and takes his girlfriend out for ice cream. He’s just happy not being stuck in bed.

However, when he does get cravings of the foods he remembers enjoying, he’ll have to run off to his room to distance himself from it.

A GoFundMe page was started for Visker in hopes of raising $20,000 to defray his monthly $7,000 costs for medicine and send him to online college. As of publication, he’s raised about $8,675.



Breakthrough Study Shows Eating Peanuts as a Child May Prevent Allergies


A new study, involving hundreds of infants at high risk for peanut allergies, has shown that exposure to peanuts early in their life will protect them from peanut allergies as they get older. Published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 640 infants from Evelina London Children’s Hospital took part in a five-year trial called LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy).

The infants involved were between 4 and 11 months of age and either suffered from severe eczema, egg allergy or both. The significance of the eczema and egg allergies in the study is that they both act as high-risk warning signs for developing a peanut allergy. The infants were randomly assigned into a peanut consumption group or avoidance group. Each child was given a skin-prick test before being assigned to a group.

Those who yielded a positive skin-prick test were given 3.9 grams of peanut protein in incremental doses. If they showed no signs of reaction toward the dosage, it was increased to 6 grams a week (spread over three meals) until the infants reached 5 years of age.

At the end of the study, less than 1 percent of the peanut group had developed a peanut allergy. In the other peanut-free group, 17.3 percent of the kids developed an allergy to peanuts.

“For a study to show a benefit of this magnitude in the prevention of peanut allergy is without precedent,” said Anthony Fauci of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in a statement.

The kids will be monitored through the next year to see if they stay protected against the allergy even when no longer consuming the peanut protein.


Texas’ Worst Nightmare: A Tick Bite That Makes You Allergic To Meat


The Lone Star tick is a pest indigenous to the Midwest and Eastern United States, whose bite also comes with a pretty nasty side effect: turning its victims vegetarian.

According to the science side of the internet, the ticks contain a sugar called Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or alpha-gal, that is also present in red meat and some dairy products. When bitten, the human body’s immune response creates antibodies to the sugar, resulting in a mild to severe allergic reaction whenever that person bites into a burger.

At least one doctor in Virginia says he sees “two to three new cases every week,” with most instances in people with no previous food allergies, though some patients do show signs of recovery over time.

Somewhere up there, the guys who founded PETA are laughing their vegan little heads off.

H/T NBC New York


Hypoallergenic Peanuts Are The Future


As a kid no one I knew had a peanut allergy, now it’s one of the leading food allergies among adults and children. You would think it’d be easy to avoid eating anything with peanuts, aka peanut butter, straight up peanuts, etc., but those pesky little legumes can hide in a variety of foods without you even knowing they’re there. While some kids will outgrow their peanut allergies other more severe cases have to live their lives in fear of the killer peanut, but there’s hope.

A hypoallergenic peanut sounds ridiculous, but it would an incredible solution to this potentially deadly allergy. Dr. Jianmei Yu of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has developed a way to treat roasted peanuts with enzymes that already exist in food processing, thus no genetic modification. The result? A peanut with undetectable levels of allergen Ara h 1 and a 98 percent reduction in allergen Ara h 2.

More importantly, how do the peanuts taste? According to Dr. Yu they taste just like ordinary roasted peanuts and has high hopes that these treated peanuts can be used for flours and other food products allowing for safer consumption by people with allergies. Allergy-free peanut butter maybe?

Yu also hopes these innovative peanuts can be utilized by doctors for exposure therapy, which has been known to alter DNA in patients who become allergy-free from the therapy. Isn’t science awesome?


H/T First We Feast + PicThx Alex Cequera


New Android App Helps Fast Food Consumers Avoid Common Allergens

Hold The Allergen Android Application App

Android allergics rejoice! Hold The Allergen (HTA), a new application just released on the Android Market, helps allergy-ridden eaters decide which fast-food menu items to eat or NOT to eat based on the product’s ingredients.

If you have ever tried looking up ingredients or nutritional information on that hidden back wall of a fast-food/fast-casual restaurant, you know it can become pretty tiresome in a hurry. This application attempts to relieve that annoyance by putting ingredient information in the palm of your hand, allowing consumers to make quicker and safer eating decisions on the fly.

Currently HTA has nutritional information for seven popular national fast-food/fast-casual restaurant chains including Burger King, Carl’s Jr, Chipotle, Domino’s, Five Guys, Jack In The Box and Subway. All of the staple menu items of the aforementioned brands seem to be available, but I did notice that brand new items, like Burger King’s Ranch Crispy Chicken Wrap or Jack In The Box’s Chipotle Chicken Club, were not listed.

It is still unknown how fast the application will update with new menu items, which will be crucial since the chosen restaurants implement dozens of new products every year. Seven restaurants is a decent start, but there are numerous more to be added if HTA wants to be considered a comprehensive resource. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Panda Express, In-N-Out to name a few of the chains we’d love to see added to the application.