262: Why Your Child's Risk of Allergies, Eczema + Asthma Is So High w/ Meenal Lele

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If you've had children, you may have been given tips (probably unsolicited) about feeding Baby, but what does the science really say about baby advice? From allergies to getting your child started on the best foot forward, most parents are left trying to decipher an ever-changing landscape while feeling defeated.

Today's guest, Meenal Lele, is the author of The Baby and the Biome, a revelatory look at how we all got so sick. She is also the founder & CEO of Lil Mixins, an early allergen introduction solution. She has a chemical engineering and business degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Meenal's book combines her deep clinical experience with her goal to end food allergies that affect 40 million Americans, like her son.

Join us as Meenal helps to break down the complicated topic of children's food allergies and what science really says when it comes to a child's microbiome.

Does your child have early eczema or food allergies? Post something you learned in your journey in the comments to help other parents!

Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Subscribe on Android

In this episode:

  • The scary stat of how many kids will develop a chronic immune disease
  • How eczema, food allergies and asthma are all related
  • What is the best time window to introduce common allergenic foods to a baby (this goes against common advice)
  • Why staph and eczema can go hand in hand along with food allergies
  • What should parents do to hopefully minimize these issues?


“Foods become an allergen when your body mistakes a totally normal, safe food and decides it's a parasite.” [12:52]

“I feel like we're so unwilling to be even momentarily uncomfortable that we end up throwing things at a problem that don't even help. And that's the case for us with antibiotics. In Sweden, they made doctors report every single time they were using antibiotics, and why, and it cut the reuse of antibiotics by 75%, meaning probably for us in the United States, three out of four uses of antibiotics are completely unnecessary.” [26:25]


Connect with Meenal Lele online here

Check out Lil Mixins here

Follow Lil Mixins on Instagram

Order a copy of Meenal's book: The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health

Healthy Skin Show ep. 020: How Your Mouth Microbiome Can Mess Up Your Skin w/ Trina Felber

Healthy Skin Show ep. 222: Food Allergies + Skin Rashes in Kids w/ Jennifer Brand, MS, MPH, CNS

Healthy Skin Show ep. 086: Allergies, Your Immune System & Skin Rashes w/ Dr. Maya Shetreat

Healthy Skin Show ep. 110: Missing Links Between Your Little One's Skin Rashes & Mom's Health w/ Jennifer Brand, MS, CNS


262: Why Your Child's Risk of Allergies, Eczema + Asthma Is So High w/ Meenal Lele FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Fugo: Meenal, it's such a honor to have you here on the podcast. Thank you for being here. I really appreciate it.

Meenal Lele: Yeah, thank you. I'm excited to chat with you today.

Jennifer: Yeah. So I wanted to interview you because I got a copy of your book before it was released. And I honestly was drawn in within the first chapter. I don't even know if that was chapter one. I'm not sure which chapter it was, but I initially dove in from the beginning. And you shared this powerful story about your son, Leo, and what he went through. And I was like, “I need to talk to you.” And as I got I further and further through the book, it was a sobering account of looking at things from a different way, especially as you're being a parent.

I'm not a parent, but hearing the challenges and the struggles facing a parent who's afraid of what could happen to their child between the allergy epidemic, eczema and all of these other problems that we're seeing more in children … And while I personally work with adults, a lot of my clients are parents. And so they share these concerns, exactly what you're talking about. So I was hoping, if you wouldn't mind, recounting Leo's story. I think that this will really hit home and help set the stage for our conversation today.

Meenal: Sure. So, he's really atopic, is really what they call it, right? And I think one of the first things for that useful for everyone to realize is that eczema, food allergies and asthma are actually all the same disease, right? They're the same dysfunction of the immune system, but showing up in different places. And eczema is almost always the one that shows up first. So what we had with him in particular was very similarly when he was around six months old, he started developing eczema issues, which rapidly became food allergies, which by age two turned into asthma.

And then as he got older, he actually developed some other kinds of … which is a whole other story, issues with what are called non-IgE allergies, and so they're also allergies, but it's a different kind of food allergy. But that trifecta of eczema, food allergy and asthma happens to a shocking number of kids. And one of the things I mentioned in the book is the stats on it are really crazy about how when you have a child today, they have a roughly 40% to 50% chance of ending up with a chronic immune disease, which I don't think most people realize that their kid has a one in two chance of something like that.

Jennifer: I would agree. That's a actually a pretty scary stat, to be honest with you.

Meenal: Yeah, it is. And it's because we tend to separate out each of these conditions. We think of, “Oh, well, here's eczema,” right? We have people who worry about this. And some of that is because of the way our system is set up. And again, I could talk about this forever, but a lot of the issue is that the way allopathic medicine was set up was it was designed to treat specific problems where you had a problem and you jumped in and you solved it and you reset the machine. And chronic conditions are really different because it's like the machine itself is fundamentally off, right?

But we started medicine by saying, like, “Oh, we have skin doctors and lung doctors and this kind of doctors.” And I used to joke that eventually there's going to be a left big toe doctor, as we get increasingly specialized. But the diseases like eczema that plague us are actually internal and they affect all of these different body organs. So we used to be defined by organs, but we really need to start thinking about medicine as part of systems. And when we think about it as systems, it becomes a very different way of looking at it. And so going back is people think about skin diseases or lung diseases, right? But it's actually like you got to add them all up because they're all chronic diseases, and that's how you get to that 50%.

Jennifer: Yeah. Now, I do think it's important to note that you're you have two children, correct?

Meenal: That's correct.

Jennifer: And Leo is the one with all of these health problems.

Meenal: Correct.

Jennifer: Your other child is healthy, for the most part?

Meenal: Healthy. Yeah.

Jennifer: Yeah. So you never dealt with this?

Meenal: One in two.

Jennifer: One in two.

Meenal: 50%, right?

Jennifer: And what do you think it was about Leo's journey? Because you said that Leo came down … he started to act funny, because that was sort of your introduction to all of this, watching your child suddenly not feel right. Would you just take a moment to recount that brief story of what opened your eyes? Because I think this moment is really an important one for parents to hear.

Meenal: Sure. The book starts with recounting the story of his first ER visit for asthma. And what's interesting about that is he had this asthma attack. And as I mentioned before, that was actually like the fifth condition he had picked up, right? So it's not like I didn't realize he was sick already, in the sense that he already had the eczema, he already had the food allergies. We'd been to the ER before. It wasn't that we didn't know that there were things going wrong, but for whatever reason, maybe just from having grown up in the '80s and '90s, asthma really stuck with me.

And I think it's the same thing with why people are so worried about anaphylaxis. It's sort of that visceral idea of someone being unable to breathe, right, that it's one … We shouldn't, actually. We shouldn't treat eczema and nasty, itchy skin as a lesser disease. And yet there's something just so panic inducing about that feeling, seeing someone else being able to breathe, that it set off this level of alarm bells and really reframed the whole thing for me in a way that I had to finally recognize, like, “Wow, my kid is actually deeply internally sick.” And I didn't grapple with it until it became a breathing issue.

Jennifer: And I think that's got to be a really scary moment for any parent. And I would say, too, I would be so upset if that happened to one of my nieces. That's not my child, but I would still be upset and really concerned. One thing that you had brought up and mentioned in the book was that this idea of the way that we're introducing food to young children may be part of the problem. And you've specifically mentioned a study called Learning Early About Peanut Allergy. It's called the LEAP study for short. Would you mind sharing about that study? What is that? What did it find? And how is it significant?

Meenal: Sure. Yeah, so the LEAP study was the first food allergy prevention study that proved that early allergen introduction when children eat foods in this very specific time window, starting before six months old, continuing out through their first birthday … And what's critical about this is it just doesn't mean you eat peanut one time. It means you eat peanuts in infant-safe forms multiple times a week, every week, right, so two to three times a week, every week for months at a time. And when children do that, their risk of peanut allergy drops by … overall, it dropped by 80%. But if they really, really stuck to the protocol, their risk of peanut allergy dropped by 97%. And then there's been-

Jennifer: Oh, my gosh. That's huge.

Meenal: It's huge. It's almost insane, right? It's almost perfectly protective, in some sense, right? And then there was a number of studies that sort of extended this finding, most clearly to egg. So there's been a number of studies like the EAT study, the child study, other ones that focused on peanut, and then there's the PETIT study, HEAP, EAP, STAR, that all look to egg. And we are doing more studies now also asking that same question about almond, cashew, each of these individual things.

But the consensus has since flipped, right? We used to say avoid these foods until up to age three, and now we're very specific about get these in a baby's to diet. And universally, so I want to be very clear, the strategy is not just children who are “at risk,” because we aren't good at predicting who's at risk. And you have this very short window, right?

As I mentioned, with my son, at five months old, he might not have been considered “at risk.” At six months, he had eczema, and now suddenly he's at high risk. And that's a couple week window, right? So if we had started at five months, if we had known this and we had done it at five months, we might have head off the entire chain reaction.

Jennifer: Wow. How does that sit with you as a parent, just to look back and be like … How does that feel as a parent to know this, the facts, but you can't go back and change what you did?

Meenal: Yes, you can't, right? So you can't beat yourself up because you can't change the past, right? And you were doing the right thing at the time, right? I think you feel guilty if it's like, “I knew I was supposed to wake up on time for that flight, but I chose not to.” But if somebody told you the flight was at 11:00 and then you got to the airport, but it turned out to actually be at 9:00, that's not really your fault, right? And so I mean, you still missed it, but you feel less bad.

I would say, though, that one of the things that we've come to understand, and you see this throughout the book, is it's the same thing with all of our health, right? The same practices that prevent disease are also the same practices that treat disease and then heal disease. And that's not to say specifically for food allergy, that early allergy introduction treats peanut allergy. But my point is sort of, we've actually been able to get my son significantly healthier, because a lot of the things, mistakes we were making as an infant, if you fix those, even when he's older, you don't get to 100% reverse it, but you get to make it get a lot better.

Jennifer: Okay. And I think this gears us into … you've mentioned a bunch about allergens and the immune system. And I do think this is important. It's unfortunately complex. It can be really tricky for people to read this and not roll their eyes and go, “My goodness. I don't know what is even going on here.” Can you talk a little bit, from a parent to parent level, what does that mean when we talk about the interaction between allergens and the immune system?

Meenal: Well, something becomes an allergen when your immune system reacts to it, right? So I think that's a funny classification because anything can be an allergen. There's literally 170, I believe, things out there that have caused anaphylaxis in people, ranging from spinach to bananas to peanuts, that we've heard of, or anything else. So anything can be an allergen. What an allergen means is that a part of your immune system is reacting to it. And we have different parts of our immune systems that are evolved and designed to deal with different kinds of threats, because fighting off a virus, for example … A virus is designed to invade your cells, right? It actually busts into the cells, uses your cell to break open, right? Bacteria are very different. Bacteria are cells. So bacteria live on top of your organs and hurt you in a very different way.

So you can't have the same immune response to different kinds of things, right? And so when we have this type of immune response, that's designed to deal with parasites. And that part of our immune system, it's called our TH2 immunity. In the book, I just talk about it … think about it like team two, right? We've got different SWAT teams. So team two is up. When team two is up, it has specific ways of dealing with parasites. And so if you think about a hookworm or something getting into you, what would your body try and do? Because it's this whole living organism. Your body would try and vomit. You would raise your body temperature. You might break out and certain kinds of things. You're basically trying to eject the parasite out of your body, right? That's what you're doing.

And when we have a food allergy reaction, you'll notice the symptoms are actually all the same because what your food is trying to do is eject this food out of your system. And it's because it's using that parasite-fighting part of your immune system to do it. And so foods become an allergen when your body mistakes a totally normal, safe food and decides it's a parasite. And you can think of this like if you have a bouncer at a bar, right, the bouncer's supposed to look people up and down and be like, “Okay, you're cool. You're cool. You can go in. You're cool.” And then every now and then it looks at someone and is like, “That guy's shifty. Get out of here.”

And that's what your body's supposed to do for parasites. But occasionally, your body is being an insane bouncer and looking at it saying, “Oh, that person's shifty looking,” and they're perfectly normal, safe person that should be allowed in the bar, but it kicks them out. And that's what makes something an allergen. So we talk about allergens a lot, but what's an allergen to you is not an allergen to me.

Jennifer: That is very true. And I noticed you made an interesting point in the book. You shared that there's … and I don't remember whether it was a study that looked at this or what, but I know there was a citation for it, that infants with eczema had an increased instance or rate of peanut allergy if they also had a staph infection. And I assume you meant staph infection on the skin, like a staph aureus infection.

Meenal: Correct. Staph aureus infection.

Jennifer: Can you talk a little bit about that? Because that is just a fascinating point, that we know that one of the hallmarks of eczema is to have too much staph on the skin.

Meenal: Right. But so, to clarify that, exactly like you said, you can have eczema without the staph infection, right?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Meenal: And so, eczema is your team two, part of your immune system, being a little bit too trigger-happy, and it's reacting, it's showing itself in your skin. And so you get eczema when that team two immune system is causing inflammation in your skin. So what happens with staph and the reason why people have staph infections and eczema is staph really likes that setup. Well, there's a bit of a circular problem, is that you're supposed to have other microbes on your skin that should by their presence fight off the staph aureus. Staph epidermis is one that you're supposed to have on your skin, and it's supposed to fight off the staph aureus.

And it's not totally clear which happens first. We do know that staph aureus will push biotoxins into your skin and cause more inflammation, but it can also be the inverse, right? It's always like a feedback loop. But yes, so when people have staph aureus on their skin, and specifically at the site of eczema, eczema patches … So, children with eczema are at significantly higher risk of food allergy. The age of onset of the eczema and the severity of the eczema is directly predictive of your risk of food allergy.

Jennifer: Oh, my gosh.

Meenal: So if you get eczema, if you get severe eczema before four months old, if I remember correctly, your risk of food allergy is like 80%, 76%. And I might be misquoting this slightly, but it's really high. It's almost perfectly predictive, if you have early onset and severe eczema. Even mild eczema that comes on later still increases your risk of food allergy, because first of all, what's that saying is that your immune system is at high alert, right? The bouncer is on Adderall. And so then with the staph aureus, when staph aureus, like I said, it's basically putting more toxins into your skin. So then your immune system gets even more upset, right?

It's like, again, thinking about this bouncer that I'm totally over-killing this analogy, is like if the bouncer keeps hearing word through his little head piece that “There's a problem, there's a problem,” they're going to be way more trigger-happy about who's allowed in and who's not, right? And it's kind of like that happens to your immune system. Once the staph aureus is there, your immune system's getting all these signals, like, “Hey, hey, hey. We need to be on the watch. We need to be on the watch.” And so it's much more likely to make the kind of mistake where it says, “That's an allergen, that's an allergen.”

Jennifer: And this plays into the idea of that epithelial barrier dysfunction or leaky skin, as some people call it, that staph aureus produces toxins that also damage the skin barrier. And we do know at this point that you can become reactive to various things, including food, and sensitized to them through your skin.

Meenal: Right.

Jennifer: Because we've traditionally thought … And I think this was one mistake that has been made in that introduction of foods part, is that we thought that you could only become sensitized by eating something.

Meenal: Correct.

Jennifer: But now we're seeing that that's not entirely true.

Meenal: No, it's actually the-

Jennifer: So the skin barrier's really important.

Meenal: The skin barrier is hugely important. You're exactly right. And in fact, I remember reading that there were two places that had very low rates of peanut allergy. One was Israel, where all the babies ate peanuts, but the other one was Ireland, where nobody ate peanuts. So the finding was that what we were doing wrong in most countries is that children were continuously skin exposed to nuts, but they weren't eating it. So the shift that we're doing is simultaneously giving it, because if anyone in the household is eating nuts, the nuts are everywhere.

They've done these studies where they'll take a family that, just normal, eats nuts, and you can always find nut dust on a baby's crib. So a child is 100% of the time, basically, always getting skin exposure. And that is always going to sensitize them to those nuts. But by getting the oral exposure at the right time, it teaches their body to calm down and realize this is something safe. And so it's about doing both simultaneously, or maybe just getting the oral exposure. But you're always going to get the skin exposure if it's in your society and people around you are eating it. And I'm specifically talking about babies.

Jennifer: Yeah. And one interesting point that I love that you brought up was just how also interconnected this is with the gut microbiome and the various microbiomes in the body. I work a lot. I mean, my practice is predominantly chronic skin issues, but we are always thinking about what's going on in the GI tract, because it plays such a huge role. I've had other guests on who've talked about, even from an immunologic standpoint, especially when we look at if we're going to add in biologic drugs, where does the inflammation start? And you cannot just write it off. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut, unfortunately. And then we've got this issue of antibiotics. So do you want to talk a little bit about how you've come to look at the microbiome, and then maybe from that parent perspective, what happens when we start throwing antibiotics into the mix?

Meenal: Sure. There was, I think, a great framework of thinking about this is a dermatologist at UPenn. Her name is Dr. Zelma Chiesa. It's actually a much longer last name, but she goes by that. And she talked to me once about how eczema has these two competing ideas of an inside out hypothesis or an outside in hypothesis. And most likely it's actually both, right? So the inside out says that, like you were saying, gut inflammation, other things are getting your immune system to a heightened state. And then that exhibits itself by what we see as eczema, whereas an outside in is more of your body, in the skin itself, reacting to outside triggers. And it's always going to create this interplay, because as we just said, once you get into a state of heightened inflammation, so many more things go wrong, right?

And that's a really fundamental thing I think people don't understand, and I wish they would. And we see this all the time with obesity, right, which overall increases your body's inflammation. People with obesity are at significantly higher risk of so many other diseases, not because obesity directly causes it, but because obesity increases your body's baseline inflammation rates, your baseline immune activity, which then causes a whole bunch of other diseases, right?

Okay. So getting to your question about antibiotics, when we overuse antibiotics … And I think if I remember correctly, the stat is that by age five, a child has typically had 10 courses of antibiotics. And it's something really, really high. And so when they do that … I might start talking about this again. Can you tell me, do I need to switch to a different set of headphones? Can you hear a bunch of background noise?

Jennifer: You're okay.

Meenal: Okay, all right. Sorry. So we were talking about the outside in and the inside out hypothesis. And what antibiotics do is they dramatically disrupt your gut microbiome, right, because the antibiotics just kill everything indiscriminately. But inevitably, they're going to kill bad stuff. They're going to kill bad stuff, but they're also going to kill all the good stuff. And when they do that, you're going to end up with a depleted microbiome that can leave you in a position for bad health.

I think of this a lot, and I think I use this analogy in the book, is antibiotics are like a forest fire, right? When we have a forest fire, it's kind of unpredictable what's going to grow back. It's totally possible that the forest returns exactly the way it was before, but it's also very likely that you get a hugely different ratio of trees and grasses, or you might end up with just weeds, right, just the bad stuff. And that's what's happening after every course of antibiotics. So if you end up with just the bad inflammatory microbes, you're going to increase your baseline level of inflammation, which will make you predisposed to a whole lot of disease.

Jennifer: Yeah. And I also think that the one factor that we do not consider is that we have fungal organisms that are commensal to our gut microbiome, but they are kept in check by bacteria. And when you continue to deplete those … to go back to your analogy about the bouncer, which I believe Kelsey Kenny had made this analogy in a previous episode, was that the bouncers of the club disappear, and they can't keep the opportunistic organisms like Candida albicans … which everyone has, by the way. You cannot be Candida-free. But they're to be kept in check. And when the bouncers are gone, they're like, “We're going to party.” And it's not a good party for you; might be for them, but not the case.

And so it's interesting that … I don't work with children, but one of the guests on the show, many of you have heard her speak, Jennifer Brand, does work with children. And she has noted to me many times that when you're seeing rashes in kids, like in a lot of the skin fold areas, under the armpits, the back of the knees, the insides of the elbows, very common spots, a lot of times there's fungal overgrowth. And for whatever reason, those are the hot spots where the rashes show up. And they've been exposed to a lot of antibiotics. And so I think it's really important to keep that in mind. How do you as a parent then, how do you even control this situation? What would you recommend as, number one, being a parent, and then doing this research and seeing the reality of this play out in your family? How do you control or limit the antibiotic usage in a young child?

Meenal: Sure. Well, I'll say, just as you said, right, there's a few different things to think about, is one, you have to make sure as much of the good bacteria is getting in there to take up space and keep the funguses in check. You need to limit how often you're killing those off. So we got to think about this, again, everything has to be thought of as holistically, because I think we definitely want to stop using antibiotics; overusing antibiotics, excuse me. But that's not the only bit of it, right?

So the overuse of antibiotics is the number one thing. And right now, we overuse them. So we drip them into us constantly in our food system, through meats, dairy, everything that has antibiotics in it. So we can make choices to get antibiotic-free foods. We can not use the Neosporin and antibiotics and the antibacterial sprays and the antibacterial wipes on our counters, all that stuff in our environments that is promoting the growth of fungus over the growth of good bacteria. But the truth is that if you look at the data, 80% of your infections don't need antibiotics. What it is is we, as Americans, when we get even mildly just uncomfortable, it's like we need to immediately address it and just throw everything at it. It's sort of like … you know when you get into the car, and then I don't know if you remember being a kid, or with my kids, as soon as you get into the car, they're like, “It's so hot. We got to turn on the air conditioning.”

And I'm like, “Just chill out, okay? We're going to roll down the windows. It's going to cool down in two minutes. You're going to be okay.” But I feel like we're so unwilling to be even momentarily uncomfortable that we end up throwing things at a problem that don't even help. And that's the case for us with antibiotics. In Sweden, they made doctors report every single time they were using antibiotics, and why, and it cut the reuse of antibiotics by 75%, meaning probably for us in the United States, three out of four uses of antibiotics are completely unnecessary. So we can be the parent that's like, “I'm willing to let my kids sleep and drink water for two days and see if they get better. I'm going to put that effort in.” That's that's really how we control it, is we have to allow our immune systems time, instead of just throwing medicine at everything.

Jennifer: Yeah. And so for the expecting moms, or maybe thinking about having a baby, what would your advice be to them? If they're worried about this, they have concern, maybe they have eczema themselves or they have allergies themselves, what would you tell them? What would, we'll say, your final words of wisdom to these expecting parents … what would you tell them?

Meenal: Yeah. I talk about this a lot in the book, but I love this idea that came from this functional medicine practitioner. She's in San Francisco, Dr. Julia Getzelman. She talks about greening the womb, is you have to prepare your body for this task of pregnancy. And that means getting your own baseline inflammation levels down. That means avoiding your triggers, eating well, thinking about what sort of upsets you, and not doing those sorts of things. So getting your body into that sort of position is helpful.

We know that the specific intervention of in your third trimester of pregnancy, through the breastfeeding period, if moms and babies take L. rhamnosus, it cuts the risk of eczema by 50%. So it's a massively helpful introduction. It's just a very simple thing you can do if you have that risk during pregnancy. But it's all those same steps, right? It's because you have to think about, you're not only gestating this baby, but you're going to pass on your levels of immune cells. How active is your immune system? To some extent, you're training their body the same, or predisposing it. And then your microbiome, you're passing onto them too, as their starter kit. They can take it in a lot of different ways, granted, but it is their starter kit. So we want to give them a starter kit that's going to help them out.

Jennifer: Yeah. I think that's an important and a great message to leave this on, because I do get asked that, like, “Does it matter? Does it matter? I know I want to get pregnant in a year and I'm not really sure when I should start working on my own skin problems.” And I'm like, “Now. Now. You want to work on it now, because something's obviously wrong. And you are going to pass on that microbiome to your child. And if there's a problem there, unfortunately, that can predispose the child to other issues.” And you might have a kid that's perfectly fine. And then like you, have the second child that is not, or vice versa. So it's just so important.

So first of all, I just want to thank you so much. The book was great. It's called The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health. I have an early copy, and it was really awesome to get to read this. I enjoyed it immensely. Even though I don't have children, I don't work with children, I found it very enlightening and helpful. And I think other parents, and just in general, my listeners will really appreciate this book. And I know that it'll be available everywhere. So it's going to be really easy to get.

And then I also wanted to make sure to mention that you've also got a great website called fixingsick.com, which you said is sort of a little bit of an early preamble to the book. And some people might recognize you because you're the founder of Lil Mixins. So I've seen a lot of my friends who have young children, and they personally have allergy issues, and they want to try to make sure to do exactly what we've talked about, making sure their child doesn't become sensitive to these healthy foods. And so it's a great option for parents to look into or parents to look into. And so we'll put links to everything in the show notes.

Thank you so much, Meenal, for being here. I really appreciate it. And thank you for this awesome book and contributing to the conversation, and hopefully continuing to move us toward this more integrative approach so that we can stop this epidemic of children that are just sensitive and allergic to life. And it's really sad because it impacts their quality of life, and not just for them, but also for the parents and the rest of the family. So, thank you so much.

Meenal: Thank you so much for having me. And I'm happy that you got something out of the book and you enjoyed it. I really do hope everyone learns something. So thank you again, I really appreciate your time.

Foods become an allergen when your body mistakes a totally normal, safe food and decides it's a parasite.