If the body mistakenly accepts some proteins as a threat, then it makes an attack on them. The symptoms of this attack are what we call allergies - from mild redness of the skin (hives) to shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. The most dangerous manifestation of an allergy is anaphylactic shock - weakness, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, confusion and loss of consciousness. In 10-20 percent of cases, anaphylactic shock is fatal.
In total, more than 170 allergenic food products were isolated, but those that cause an allergic reaction more often than others, there are, 8-10, depending on the country. Among them are peanuts (legumes), nuts (primarily forest ones), mollusks, fish, milk, eggs, wheat and its derivatives, as well as soy. Between 1997 and 2011, the prevalence of allergies in the world increased by 50 percent. Especially often children are exposed to it. For example, in Australia, about nine percent of children are allergic to eggs.
According to researcher Gideon Luck from King College (King's College) of London, one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, the cause of allergies may be that parents try to restrict their children from eating potential allergens. So, according to Lak's research, among those children who were not given peanuts before the age of five, 17 percent had an allergy to this product, while among those who ate peanuts from the age of one, only three percent had an allergic reaction.
According to another version, the lack of contact with microorganisms in infancy is to blame for the appearance of allergies. In children who were trying to protect against bacteria, including using antibiotics, the total population of microbes (microbiota) living in a person turned out to be limited (the norm is about three trillion bacteria in the body). This led to the fact that the immune system was too highly sensitive, and it began to respond even to harmless proteins as a threat.
Finally, the third theory links the problem of the spread of allergies with the sun. According to a study in Australia, a lack of sun in urban life leads to a lack of vitamin D, which leads to a three-fold risk of developing an allergy to eggs and 11-fold to peanuts. In addition, the city dweller has less contact with nature, which means that the body is not able to recognize many microbes that it encounters when it finally comes into contact with, for example, plants in the countryside.
The material is based on a report from the British Immunological Society.