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Why peanuts are NOT on the OK food list

I remember reading about peanuts in Grant's first e-book.  They were mentioned as a common trigger food for eczema, yet didn't have much in the way of carotenoids in them.  I went and did more research on them, as I tend to do.

Peanuts make other carotenoids more bioavailable!

Peanut butter increases the bioavailability and bioconversion of kale β-carotene to vitamin A.

CONCLUSIONS:  This study showed that peanut butter enhances the vitamin A value of kale.

This could be where some of the problems with peanuts and eczema come from...buut wait, there's more!

There is a whole mold toxin (aflatoxin) issue with peanuts--much worse in peanuts than in ANY OTHER FOOD--and this happens in organic peanuts and non-organic:

Survey of aflatoxin contamination in peanut products in Taiwan from 1997 to 2011

Aflatoxins are toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic compounds that contaminate various types of foods and feedstuffs. The aflatoxin levels in various kinds of peanut products in Taiwan were surveyed during the recent decade. A total of 1827 commercial peanut products were collected from different regions of Taiwan from 1997 to 2011. The samples were cleaned by immunoaffinity columns and analyzed for aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Aflatoxins were detected in 32.7% of samples with levels ranging from 0.2 μg/kg to 513.4 μg/kg. Peanut butter had the highest aflatoxin-positive incidence, followed by peanut flour, peanut candy, rice syrup, and peanuts. In addition, 6.8% of the samples had total aflatoxin concentrations (i.e., the sum of B1 + B2 + G1 + G2) that were higher than the Taiwan regulatory limit of 15 μg/kg. Among the aflatoxin-positive samples, aflatoxin B1 had the highest frequency of detection, followed by aflatoxin B2, aflatoxin G2, and aflatoxin G1. This longterm survey provides valuable information on aflatoxin contamination in peanut products marketed in Taiwan.

Why might there be even more aflatoxin in organic peanut products, you wonder?

Aflatoxins: Poisons Hiding in Plain Sight

Aflatoxin-producing molds are extremely common in the soils where peanuts are grown. When it comes to aflatoxin contamination, peanut butter is notoriously the worst — or from the mold’s perspective, the best food ever.[13]

In the US, more than 99 percent of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, which includes the use of fungicides. Be careful: Organic peanut butters may contain even more aflatoxin than inorganic brands because fungicide is not used in their production.

I remember about 15 years ago, I was told (hearsay) that a certain grocery store was offering "aflatoxin-free peanut butter".  Someone tested wasn't aflatoxin-free--and if I recall correctly--had even more aflatoxin than the normal peanut butter!  Needless to say, the store stopped offering it soon after that.

An infographic about aflatoxin:

Aflatoxin infographic peanuts

Also, why are peanuts such an allergenic food?  I don't know why, but then again, I'm more interested in the real world results versus theory:

Are GMOs responsible for a spike in food allergies?

For some foods, the increase has been even greater. For example, peanut allergy prevalence has quadrupled from 0.4 percent in 1997 to more than 2 percent in 2010. In fact, peanut allergy is now the leading cause of anaphylactic shock — the most severe form of allergy — due to food in the United States. And the problem isn’t just confined to the US: hospital admissions for food-related anaphylaxis has seen a seven-fold rise in the United Kingdom since 1990.

Peanuts apparently have a bunch of cross-reactivity with other allergens:

Cross-Reactivity of Peanut Allergens

Clinical observations frequently report an association of peanut allergy with allergies to legumes, tree nuts, seeds, fruits and pollen. Molecular cross-reactivity has been described between members of the Bet v 1-like proteins, the non-specific lipid transfer proteins, and the profilins. This review also addresses the less well-studied cross-reactivity between cupin and prolamin allergens of peanuts and of other plant food sources and the recently discovered cross-reactivity between peanut allergens of unrelated protein families.

Yes, there is likely a vaccine ingredient connection too (I cannot find an old link I knew of that discussed the insertion of peanut genes into soybeans, which could explain a lot about the rise in peanut allergy, all I could find was a paper about inserting soy genes into peanuts).  To summarize, all the nutrients in peanuts can be obtained elsewhere, with far fewer concerns.  Peanuts are known to aggravate a Poison/"Vitamin A"-connected disease (eczema).  I simply can't recommend them any longer when there are plenty of other good options out there.

Natasha Schuler and Suzan Kearney have reacted to this post.
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Dr. Garrett Smith, the "Nutrition Detective"
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