Many who claim to have food allergy actually don’t: study

About how many people do you know who claim to have food allergies? While some of them might be legitimate, many purported food-allergy claims may be false alarms.

That’s according to new research that finds that 1 in 10 people in the U.S. are afflicted with food allergies, while nearly twice that number mistakenly believe themselves to be food-allergic.

Researchers surveyed more than 40,000 adults living across the country, finding that about 10 percent were allergic to one or more foods.

However, they also discovered that 19 percent of their subjects reported that they were allergic to certain foods, even though they didn’t experience the physical reactions that typically accompany a genuine food allergy. [7 Strange Signs You’re Having an Allergic Reaction]

While there’s no question that food allergies are real — and for some, potentially life-threatening — people who self-diagnose as food allergic without consulting a medical professional may be misinterpreting their symptoms as an allergic reaction, the study authors wrote.

In those cases, what the individuals were experiencing could be a sign of food intolerance” or other food related conditions” rather than a true allergic response, lead study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Illinois, said in a statement.

Allergic reactions are the immune system’s response to a trigger that is perceived as a threat. Regarding food allergies, when some people eat a certain type of food — such as nuts, shellfish, wheat or dairy — it broadcasts an alarm signal to their immune system, provoking reactions that can vary widely between individuals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms of food allergies can include hives, itching and swelling in the nose and throat, and stomach pain or nausea. In extreme cases, food allergies may lead to anaphylaxis — a state of shock accompanied by low blood pressure and constricted airways — which can be fatal if untreated, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Shellfish is the most common food allergen in the U.S., affecting approximately 7 million adults, according to the study. Milk allergies affect nearly 5 million people, followed closely by peanut allergies, which affect about 5 million people. Other widespread allergens include tree nuts, fish, eggs, wheat, soy and sesame, the scientists reported.

Allergies can be inherited or acquired, sometimes unexpectedly — bites from a type of tick have been linked to the onset of an allergy to meat, and a woman who recently received a lung transplant also acquired her organ donor’s peanut allergy.

In fact, developing food allergies in adulthood happens more frequently than expected, the scientists reported. They learned from the surveys that about 48 percent of the subjects who had food allergies first experienced at least one of them as an adult.

Enormous ‘Pulse of Death’ in Holocaust was worse than feared, researchers find

Nazi Germany’s eradication of European Jews during the Holocaust, one of humanity’s most despicable campaigns of violence, featured a much more ruthlessly efficient “kill rate” than previously understood — according to new research.

During the Holocaust, millions of Jews, along with members of different ethnic groups, gay men, Soviet prisoners of war, and others, were systematically murdered at concentration camps including Auschwitz, Treblinka and Belzec. They arrived at the death camps primarily by train and countless people died inside the cramped boxcars.

“Even though the Holocaust is one of the best-documented genocides in a historical sense, there is surprisingly little quantitative data available,” explains biomathematician Lewi Stone from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

“Because the Nazis destroyed nearly all records of the massacre, it is important to try to uncover what actually happened at the time.”

Operation Reinhard is known as one of the deadliest phases of the Holocaust.

Stone studied what he acknowledges is an “unusual dataset”: railway transportation records that detail the comings and goings of “special trains” on the German National Railway. Stone describes that network as a “critical component of the Nazi’s blueprint for genocide and destruction.”

In the space of around three months – roughly August to October 1942 – the train records reveal what Stone calls a “pulse of death”: an extreme phase of “hyperintense killing” in which the slaughter rate spiked for some 100 days.

During this gruesome time period, the data suggest over 1.47 million Jews – more than a quarter of all the Jews killed during the six years of World War II – were killed by a ramp-up of coordinated train transports and gas chamber executions.

The research suggests that the Nazis killed their victims during this window of time at astonishingly high rates — roughly 15,000 people per day.

Some other researchers have said the study’s death rate estimates are too high.

“The Holocaust stands out as a demonstration of how the efficient machinery of government was turned on people in an unparalleled way,” Stone writes in The Conversation.

“This is the key lesson of the Holocaust that I believe must not be forgotten.”

Conway blames Congress, courts for crisis at border, hedges on use of emergency powers

Kellyanne Conway, the senior counselor to President Trump, told Fox News on Monday that lawyers inside the White House are researching the legal implications of declaring a national emergency to build the border wall, and placed the blame squarely on Congress and courts for the crisis at the Southern Border.

In a wide-ranging interview on “The Ingraham Angle,” Conway said the president is “considering” using a national emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and the budget stalemate in Washington. Trump wants $5.6 billion to fund the wall.

Declaring a national emergency would draw legal challenges, and Trump — who told lawmakers he would be willing to keep the government closed for months or even years — has said he would like to continue negotiations for now.

“There are probably some people who want him (Trump) to declare it (the emergency) so that Congress, again, can fail to do its job,” she said. “The Congress and the courts have failed to do their jobs. They’ve given us this crisis.”

Conway defended the use of the word “crisis” to describe the situation at the border, and talked about illegal drugs that enter the U.S. from Mexico.

The talks over ending the shutdown have been at an impasse over Trump’s demand for the wall. He has offered to build the barrier with steel rather than concrete, billing that as a concession to Democrats’ objections. They “don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel,” he said.

But Democrats have made clear that they object to the wall itself, not how it’s constructed. They see it as immoral and ineffective and prefer other types of border security funded at already agreed-upon levels.

Trump announced that he will address the nation on Tuesday night before traveling later in the week to the U.S.-Mexico border, as he seeks to highlight border security and presses Democrats for wall funding amid the protracted standoff that triggered a partial government shutdown now stretching into its 17th day.

“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern,” Trump tweeted on Monday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called on the networks to give Democrats a chance to respond.

“Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime,” they wrote in a joint statement released Monday night.

Grisly ‘flayed god’ temple discovered in Mexico

In a remarkable discovery, archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered the first known temple of the “Flayed Lord” a pre-Hispanic fertility god depicted as a skinned human corpse.

Ancient priests worshipped the god by skinning human victims and then donning their skins.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said the find was made during recent excavations of Popoloca Indian ruins in the central state of Puebla.

Two skull-like stone carvings and a stone trunk depicting the god Xipe Totec were found. Veneration of the god was seen as a way to ensure fertility and regeneration.

The stone trunk depiction Xipe Totec has an extra hand dangling off one arm, suggesting the god was wearing the skin of a sacrificial victim.

The deity was one of the most important gods of the Pre-Hispanic era, according to INAH. “Its influence in the fertility, the regeneration of the agricultural cycles and the war, was recognized by numerous cultures of the West, Center and Gulf of Mexico,” it said in a statement.

Depictions of the god had been found before in other cultures, including the Aztecs. However, this is the first discovery of a temple directly associated with the cult of Xipe Totec, according to INAH.

The Popolocas built the temple at a complex known as Ndachjian-Tehuacan between A.D. 1000 and 1260 and were later conquered by the Aztecs.

Ancient accounts of the rituals suggested victims were killed in gladiator-style combat or by arrows on one platform, then skinned on another platform. The layout of the temple at Tehuacan seems to match that description.

INAH notes that, in addition to the stone sculptures of Xipe Totec, two sacrificial altars were found in the archaeological zone of Ndachjian-Tehuacan.

The stone trunk is approximately 2.6-feet tall and has a hole that historians believe once contained a ceremonial green stone.

Each of the skulls is approximately 2.3 feet tall and weighs about 440 pounds. Carved from volcanic stone, the skulls are also marked by cuts that represent “skinning.”

The discovery is the latest fascinating archaeological find in Mexico. Last year, for example, archaeologists discovered a mysterious tunnel and chamber beneath the Pyramid of the Moon in the ancient city of Teotihuacán.

Researchers from INAH and the Institute of Geophysics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) located the hidden spaces at the famous site near Mexico City.

In another project, an ancient mask depicting a 7th-century Maya king was discovered in southern Mexico.