Food Allergies – Why Do We Get Them?

Food allergies are on the rise all over the world, and the cases have increased tremendously in the past 20 years. It is estimated that as many as 10% of all children in the US have a food allergy of one kind or another. This has become a major public and clinical health issue because of the increasing prevalence.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, ACAAI, the following foods make up about 90% of all food allergies:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat

In many cases, the allergic reaction caused by one type of food may also indicate that the person is allergic to another kind of food similar to it, as the properties of food may be linked. The reasons behind food allergies are diverse and are widely unclear. Thus, the best solution to food allergies is avoiding the foods that cause an allergic reaction in your body.

Food Allergy and Genetics

Genetics is found to play a key role in some allergies. Genetics can also help in understanding why one has food allergies in the first place, as many allergies may have passed been down by the parents. There is a vast amount of information contained in the human genome, which has data about everything related to a person. Further research is needed in this field so that we can better understand how genes relate to allergies.

Peanut Allergy and Human Genes

Researchers have found a region in the human genome that is associated with peanut allergy. This offers a strong evidence that genes actually play an important role in food allergies. However, in addition to genes, a research team led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that other molecular mechanisms may also contribute to the genetic predisposition to food allergies, specifically peanut allergies. These molecular mechanisms contribute to whether or not the allergy will be developed by the people who have a genetic predisposition for it.

Final Word

It is not only genetics that plays a role in the development of food allergies, there are a number of other environmental conditions that have a say in this as well. It is important to know your body and make informed decisions when it comes to what you eat. With the advancements taking place in the health sector, we might one day be able to cure these allergies. Until then, take care and eat safely.