Sleep Deprivation, Exercise Increase Chance of Allergic Reaction to Peanuts

February 25th 2019
Jennifer Nessel, Assistant Editor

The study emphasizes the need for proper safety regulation of allergen levels in food and a suitable margin of safety when deriving a reference dose for an allergic population.

A new study funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has found that exercise and sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on the threshold of reactivity in people with peanut allergies. The research was recently presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

The study included 126 peanut-allergic participants who underwent 3 open, randomized peanut challenges. In 1 challenge, exercise followed each dose of peanut while another challenge required sleep deprivation prior to the dose. One challenge included no intervention.

On the groups that included exercise and sleep deprivation, the mean doses triggering symptoms were reduced by 45% compared to the challenge with no intervention. This suggested that lack of sleep and exercise significantly increases the risk of an individual allergic to peanuts having an allergic reaction.

The results from the TRACE study confirmed anecdotal reports that exercise and lack of sleep can impact the amount of peanut it takes to trigger a reaction in people with peanut allergy. According to Chun-Han Chan, PhD, FSA’s team leader for Food Allergy Policy, “this effect is important to help determine the unsafe levels of allergen in a food and whether a suitable margin of safety has been applied when deriving a reference dose for the allergic population. The findings will give us essential evidence to support precautionary allergen labeling — which means people with a food allergy will know exactly when food poses a real risk, so they can keep safe and have trust in their food.”

This research is in its final stages, with a full manuscript expected to be published later this year.

References

Exercise and Sleep Deprivation Appear to Increase Likelihood of Allergic Reactions in People with Peanut Allergies [news release]. San Fransico, California; February 25, 2019: CWCI website.https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/newsroom/news-releases/sleep. Accessed Feb. 25, 2019.

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