Icelanders With Fewest Food Allergies - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders With Fewest Food Allergies

Published March 16, 2010

Icelanders have the fewest food allergies and intolerances of any other European people, according to new research from Imperial College in London.
The survey, which covered 4,500 people in 13 European countries, found that only 8% of Icelanders have a food allergy of some kind. At the same time, Norwegians – one of modern Icelanders’ ancestors – have the highest rate of food allergies and intolerances, at 22%. They share this position with Americans, Italians and Germans.
Dairy products proved to be the largest culprit when it came to food allergies. Other common intolerances included hazelnuts, shrimp, wheat, prunes and apples.
Imperial College is renowned for their work in the field of food allergies. Rather than relying on the commentary of those who took part in the survey, blood samples were taken to test for signs of food allergies.
Unofficially, it has been noted by a number of foreigners that the Grapevine knows that almost no Icelander complains of lactose intolerance. Indeed, a trip to the supermarket’s dairy section shows a true cornucopia of dairy. Why Icelanders can tolerate so much but their ancestors, the Norwegians, tolerate so little remains a mystery to modern science.

Correction: The Grapevine originally reported that the institution that conducted the study was Imperial University. No such institution exists. The Grapevine apologizes for this error.

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