Study: Trends in Food Allergy Research by JUNKO SHIMADA (Life Science and Medical Research Unit)
This week is “National Healthy Eating Week” and I wanted to share with all of you some important insights related to food allergy research. A study conducted by Junko Shimada at the Life Science and Medical Research Unit, regarding important trends in food allergies suggests that the incidence of allergic diseases such as food allergy, atopic dermatitis, bronchial asthma and cedar pollenosis continues to increase in developed countries such as the United States. In particular, food allergy, which is often developed during infancy, and can affect a child’s growth or trigger an “allergic march,” or in other words, the progressive development of multiple allergies.
Currently, it is estimated that over 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies and food sensitivity. Data has also shown that 1 in 13 children are affected by at least 1 food allergy in their lifetime. Now you may be wondering what exactly is a food allergy? Food allergy is an exaggerated immune response induced by the misrecognition of orally ingested food as a foreign substance. Some of the most common food allergies include but are not limited to: eggs, milk, wheat, beans, buckwheat, fruit, seafood and meat. The development of food allergy involves both genetic and environmental factors such as pollution, food contamination, and chemical preservatives added to the different food products. Food allergies cause a hypersensitive reaction that damages our various systems, with symptoms that can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, hives and eczema. Severe cases of food allergy can induce anaphylactic shock, which may lead to death. The best way to stay safe and healthy is to become aware of potential existing allergies and food sensitivities by getting tested! If you would like to learn more information regarding this topic or if you’d like to get tested you can call our office at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center and our team we’ll be happy to help you schedule an appointment.
Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, epigenetic, fatigue, Food allergy, headaches, IBD, IBS, Leaky gut syndrome, Weight Loss
An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders.
Restoring intestinal integrity is a consideration in autoimmune disease. Intestinal permeability becomes a problem when there is excessive inflammation. This process impairs the intestines ability to digest and absorb food, transport vitamins and minerals, and act as a first line defense against antigens. With this inflammatory process, the spaces between the cells lining the intestinal tract become hyperpermeable, which allow larger particles to pass. These larger particles are recognized by the immune system as foreign and an antibody is often created for them. These antibodies are theorized to cross react with other cells of the body, including the cells of the thyroid gland. When this happens, the gland is destroyed and an eventual hypothyroid condition develops (Rogers, pg 1-6).
Autoimmunity is a modern disease rarely seen in primitive societies following traditional dietary and lifestyle patterns (Bergner, pg 3). It is seen in our modern society because of our poor diet high in refined products. Other attributes to the condition include our over-the-counter non-steroidal inflammatory drugs that inflame the intestinal lining. Wide spread antibiotic use wipes out the competitive bacteria leaving antibiotic resistant fungi to over populate the intestines. We have extensive repetition in our diets that may contribute to food allergies and thus inflammation. In addition, our food is not as nutritious due to mass production without crop rotation and over fertilization. This means we often suffer from deficiencies in our diet, which jeopardize our health and further reduce our absorptive capabilities.
The role of gut hyperpermeability and autoimmune disease is often overlooked as a cause for many of our health problems. The mechanism of autoimmune disease and antibody formation to particles that leak into our bodies should be examined with all autoimmune conditions.
Environmental Medicine: Healing from the Inside Out; The Leaky Gut Syndrome. By Rogers, Sherry A. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, 03/31/95;p26-28.
Leaky gut, molecular mimicry, microchimerism, and autoimmunity. By Bergner, Paul. Medical Herbalism: A Clinical Newsletter For the Herbal Practitioner; 12/31/97;V.9N.4;p14-17.