Episode 46: Kari Nadeau | Defeating Food Allergies | Click to Listen


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After On Podcast #46: Defeating Food Allergies

Stanford immunologist Kari Nadeau is among the world's leading experts in the mysterious epidemic of food allergies, which now afflict several hundred percent more people than just a few decades ago. She runs the Sean Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford (note: another excellent site for food allergy information mentioned in the show is that of the FARE organization) . Sean, whose resume famously includes a stint as Facebook's first president, enabled the launch of that center with a $24 million check, in large part out of his enthusiasm for Kari’s groundbreaking work.

 
Kari Nadeau

Kari Nadeau

 

Whether you realize it or not, dozens of people you know are almost surely affected by food allergies. There are as many as 30 million sufferers in the United States alone. They include almost 10% of American adults. Which is remarkable – because until quite recently, food allergies were almost exclusively a childhood disorder. But people no longer outgrow these afflictions like they used to. Meanwhile, far greater numbers of infants and toddlers are developing them. The reasons for this are a matter of a great mystery and debate.

Even if you're one of those rare people who aren’t close to any food allergy sufferer, I believe you'll find this interview fascinating. Our immune systems are among biology’s most elegant and complex creations. But, they're far from flawless – and allergies are but one of many grim byproducts of immune systems running amok.  Others include horrifying neurological disorders, type 1 diabetes, and more.

The good news is that our immune systems may also harbor a vast untapped potential to fight off some of humanity's greatest scourges - including cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. We’ll be exploring the captivating field of immunology in future episodes. And we’ll begin that exploration today - with a condition which probably afflicts many of your friends & loved ones.


Rob Reid