May 22, 2010

New Simple Blood Test In Newborns Can Predict Allergy Risk!

Researchers in Australia have discovered a certain protein extracted from umbilical cord blood can predict the allergy risk a given newborn has in the future. The research titled "Protein kinase Czeta: a novel protective neonatal T-cell marker that can be upregulated by allergy prevention strategies" was published in 2007 in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. The protein called "Neonatal T-cell Protein Kinase C zeta" (PKCzeta) was lower in children who had evidence of allergic disease at 1 year (P = .001) and 2.5 years (P = .052) of age. They also determined that fish oil supplementation (4g per day in pregnant females) was associated with significantly higher PKCzeta expression (P = .014), whereas most other isozymes were reduced by fish oil supplementation.

What does this all mean? It suggests that pregnant females who ingest fish oil reduces the risk of allergy development in their unborn child.

At this time, as far as I know, the only place (outside research labs) that is able to test for this protein marker is in Australia. But perhaps it soon will become available in the US?

For now, US residents have only the skin prick or blood test RAST/immunoCAP to determine allergies.

Our office offers allergy testing by blood draw (RAST) as well as treatment with allergy shots and allergy drops.

The research abstract can be read here.

A media report can be read here.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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