Recently added item(s)
You have no items in your basket.
It is becoming increasingly common to have an allergic condition these days, ranging from mild to very severe. Allergic conditions include food allergies, asthma, allergic rhinitis or hay fever and eczema. Common symptoms of undiagnosed allergies include chronic inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, itchy, red or watery eyes, nasal/sinus congestion, cough, itchy nose, mouth or throat, postnasal drip, wheezing, and aversive feeding behaviour. Most children develop allergic sensitivity in the first two years of life. Allergy appears to be an evolving disease in individuals, changing its nature and sometimes increasing in severity through life.
How does it all start?
Allergy develops when the immune system becomes ‘hypersensitive’ to substances such as food or environmental components. Fundamentally, it is a maladaptation of the immune system in which an inflammatory response is mounted on exposure to innocuous molecules, as if they were a pathogenic threat. Allergens are typically a type of protein (e.g. casein from milk), but can also be carbohydrates in rarer instances.[i] Environmental allergens include pollen, hay,[ii][iii] cat dander, mould[iv] (e.g. from a damp home) and dust mites.[v] Food allergens, in particular, are ubiquitous in the modern diet, and we potentially have increased exposure to certain environmental allergens, like mould.
This inflammatory response provokes the release of histamine by the immune cells. Histamine plays a key role in inflammation, especially allergic reactions, with most sufferers relying on anti-histamine medication to reduce their symptoms.
Our ability to adapt to, and be resilient in the face of this antigenic environment, is heavily influenced by our gut bacteria, which drive immune development during infancy. Essentially, the presence of microflora facilitates immune tolerance to our own microorganisms as well as dietary and other environmental antigens.
What are the most common causes and risk factors in allergy?
How can we support allergy?
Allergy is very individual and can vary from person to person, which is why each case is different. Seeing a registered Nutritional Therapist may also be a good idea, especially if you suffer from a specific condition or have other health problems.
Got a question?
The brand you can talk to:
We have a team of Nutritionists at the end of our advice line, open to you, for product support and advice (5 days a week). 0121 433 8702 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or head to our advice page where you can find Healthnotes.
Not registered for an account with BioCare®?
[i] Soh JY, Huang CH, Lee BW. Carbohydrates as food allergens. Asia Pac Allergy.2015;5(1):17-24.
[ii] Spiewak R et al. Atopy, allergic diseases and work-related symptoms among students of agricultural schools: first results of the Lublin study. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2001; 8 (2): 261-7
[iii] Jie Y et al. Urban vs. rural factors that affect adult asthma. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2013; 226: 33-63
[iv] Agarwal R. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Chest. 2009; 135 (3): 805-826.
[v] Averbeck et al. Immunologic principles of allergic disease. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2007; 5(11): 1015-28.
[vi] Berger A. Th1 and Th2 responses: what are they? BMJ. 2000; 321 (7258): 424.
[vii] Farooqi IS, Hopkin JM. Early childhood infection and atopic disorder. Thorax 1998;53:927-932.
[viii] Sherriff A, Golding J. Hygiene levels in a contemporary population cohort are associated with wheezing and atopic eczema in preschool children. Arch Dis Child. 2002;87:26–9
[ix] Gassner-Bachman M et al. Farmers' children suffer less from hay fever and asthma. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2000;125:924–31.
[x] Eder W, Ege MJ, von Mutius E. The asthma epidemic. N Engl J Med. 2006;355:2226–2235
[xi] Bloomfield SG et al. Too clean, or not too clean: the Hygiene Hypothesis and home hygiene. Clin Exp Allergy. 2006; 36 (4): 402-425.
[xii] Yazdanbakhsh M et al. Allergy, parasites, and the hygiene hypothesis. Science. 2002;296:490–494.
[xiii] Anvari S et al. Genetic Variation along the Histamine Pathway in Children with Allergic versus Nonallergic Asthma. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015;53(6):802-9.
[xiv] Chambers ES, Hawrylowicz CM. The impact of vitamin D on regulatory T cells. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2011; 11 (1): 29-36.
[xv] Kukkonen et al. High intestinal IgA associates with reduced risk of IgE-associated allergic diseases. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2010; 21: 67-73.
[xvi] Morris et al. Sleep Quality and Duration are Associated with Higher Levels of Inflammatory Biomarkers: the META-Health Study. Circulation. 2010; 122: A17806.
[xvii] Senthilselvan A et al. Association of asthma with use of pesticides. Results of a cross-sectional survey of farmers. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992; 146 (4): 884-7
[xviii] Vally H, Misso N. Adverse reactions to the sulphite additives. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2012; 5 (1): 16-23
[xix] Thomson NC, Livingston CE. Asthma and cigarette smoking. Eur Resp J. 2004; 24: 822-833.
[xx] Thomson NC and Livingston CE. Asthma and cigarette smoking. Eur Resp J. 2004; 24: 822-833.
[xxi] Gaffin JM et al. beta-2 adrenergic receptor gene methylation is associated with decreased asthma severity in inner-city schoolchildren: asthma and rhinitis. Journal of BSACI. 2014;44(5):681–689.
[xxii] Pessi T et al. Interleukin-10 generation in atopic children following oral Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Clin Exp Allergy. 2000;30(12):1804-8.
[xxiii] Chung BY et al. Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis with a Low-histamine Diet. Annals of Dermatology. 2011;23(Suppl 1):S91-S95.
[xxiv] Otsuka et al. Histochemical and functional characteristics of metachromic cells in the nasal epithelium in allergic rhinitis: studies of nasal scrapings and their dispersed cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995; 96: 528-36.
[xxv] Davis JM, et al. The dietary flavonoid quercetin increases VO(2max) and endurance capacity. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010;20(1):56-62.
[xxvi] Roschek B Jr et al. Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis.Phytother Res. 2009;23(7):920-6.
[xxvii] Müller S et al. Placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial on the immunomodulating activities of low- and high-dose bromelain after oral administration - new evidence on the anti-inflammatory mode of action of bromelain.Phytother Res. 2013;27(2):199-204.
[xxviii] Tecklenburg SL et al. Ascorbic acid supplementation attenuates exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in patients with asthma.Respir Med. 2007;101(8):1770-8.
[xxix] Fogarty A et al. Corticosteroid sparing effects of vitamin C and magnesium in asthma: a randomised trial.Respir Med. 2006;100(1):174-9.
[xxx] Tsao D et al. Structural mechanisms of S-adenosyl methionine binding to catechol O-methyltransferase. PLoS One. 2011; 6 (8): e24287
[xxxi] Erickson et al. Micronutrients and innate immunity. J Infect Dis. 2000; 182 (Suppl 1): 5-10.
[xxxii] Asha'ari ZA, et al. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;33(5):469-75.