Joe Rogan - You Cure Peanut Allergies By Eating Peanuts?


5 years ago



Jonathan Haidt

2 appearances

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist, professor, and author. His latest book, "The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness," will be available March


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And Taleb wanted to know, what's the word for things that do get better when you knock them over? And the classic example is the immune system. So the immune system is an incomplete system. It's a miracle of evolution that we have this system for making antibodies. But it doesn't know exactly what to be reactive to. That has to be set by childhood experience. And so if you keep your kids in a bubble and you use bacterial wipes and you don't let them be exposed to bacteria, you're crippling the system. The system has to get knocked over. It has to get challenged, threatened. It has to learn how to expand its abilities. And so this is why peanut allergies are going up. Yeah, that was a really shocking part of your book. That's right. It's stunning how fast this happened. Please explain that to people, the whole peanut allergy thing. Yeah, so peanut allergies used to be really rare. And most of us older folk, we brought peanut butter sandwiches to school. When my son Max started preschool in 2008, they went on and on about no nuts, nothing that touched a nut, nothing that looks like a nut, nothing that has the word nut. I mean, it was crazy how defensive they were about nuts. And as we were writing the book, I thought back on that and I said, wait a second, why? We're freaking out about nuts. And the more we freak out about it, the higher the allergy rate goes. And it turns out there was a study done and published in 2015 where the researchers noticed that the allergy to nuts is only going up in countries that tell pregnant women to avoid nuts. And they thought, well, maybe that's why. And so they did a controlled experiment. They got about 600 women who had given birth recently and whose kids were at higher risk of an allergy because they had eczema or some other immune system sort of issue. So about 300 of them are told standard advice, your kids at risk the peanut allergy. So you should not eat peanuts while you're lactating and keep peanuts away from your kid. And the other half were told, here is an Israeli snack food. It's a puffed corn with a peanut powder dusting on the outside. Give it to your kids starting at three or four months whenever they're ready to eat. And so they monitored them. They made sure that they weren't failed reactions or strong reactions. And then at the age of five, they gave them all a very thorough immunological test. And of the ones who followed the standard advice, 17% had a peanut allergy. They would have to watch out for peanuts for the rest of their lives. That's such a high number. Because these were kids were already predisposed. And but the half that were predisposed, but given peanut powder, 3%, just 3% had a peanut allergy at age five. In other words, we could almost wipe out peanut allergies by giving peanut powder to kids. Just a few months ago in science, the front page article was on doing that. And so again, good intentions and bad ideas. We're trying to protect our kids, so keep them away from peanuts, but that's exactly the wrong advice because kids are antifragile. And so we're doing the same thing. Most of them. The real issue is the people that have an actual severe allergy, if that's your child. Yeah. Yes. But that's what the science article was about, was that exposure therapies are being tested and they are the most effective. So even with people with extreme allergies. You just have to start slow. So you just give them a very small amount. Very small, exactly. Because I was on a plane once and they informed us that they didn't want us to even eat peanuts on the plane because there was someone on the plane that was so allergic that if you eat peanuts and you chew it and it's in the air, it could adversely affect that person. Yeah. And that could well be true. So I have no objection to that. But the reason we got to that point is because we started banning peanuts long ago.