Why Food Allergies Have Taken Over

Food allergy awareness is not something we dealt with when we were children, but it’s now an epidemic. We’re finally starting to learn why.

Almost 15 million people in the United States have food allergies,including 1 in 13 children.

There has been a 50 percent rise of food allergies between 1997 and 2007, and no one seemed to know why.

Nutritionists have considered junk food a possible cause of food allergies for many years.

Why Are There So Many Food Allergies?

One of the theories is that our diet has changed dramatically with the addition of unhealthy junk food full of sugar and unhealthy oils, highly processed foods full of chemicals and much more.

Another theory, according to Dr. Martin Blase, infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at New York University, is that the wide use of antibiotics, caesarean deliveries and antiseptics has permanently disturbed the gut bacteria of many people. He goes on to say: “American children receive on average seventeen courses of antibiotics before they are twenty years old.”

Experts now suspect food allergies are a result of unhealthy intestinal bacteria from antibiotic overuse

The good news is that researchers have found a possible cure. They discovered a bacteria that lives in the digestive system could help prevent allergies and possibly be used as treatment.

The research was done on mice that were raised in a fully sterile environment; they had no bacteria in their guts. What the researchers found, is that the mice had an allergic response to peanuts. Then they tried adding different types of bacteria to the digestive tract of the mice to see if it had any effect.

There was only one bacteria that had an effect. The bacteria, Clostridia, blocked the peanut allergies.

Clostridia is one type of bacteria that is reduced by antibiotics in children’s guts. The research suggests why there has been a big increase in food allergies and even other unhealthy trends such as obesity.

Treating Food Allergies With a Pill

“Clostridia are known to be closely linked to the intestinal lining, they are spore forming which makes them tricky to work with, but down the road they would be a candidate to put into a pill as they are highly stable,” said Lead researcher Dr Cathryn Nagler to the BBC News.

The bonus of this research is that it shows how the microbiome (bacteria) affects the immune system and what specific bacteria do. In an earlier study, Dr. Martin Blaser gave mice penicillin soon after birth; the result was their gut bacteria made them highly susceptible to becoming obese as adults.

“While we have to be careful not to extrapolate too far from a single study, and we also have to bear in mind that germ-free mice are a long way from humans, it is a very exciting paper and puts this theory on a much sounder scientific basis,” says Prof Colin Hill, a microbiologist at University College Cork, to the BBC News.

What Scientists Found About Bacteria

With the lower intestinal tract containing almost 100 trillion organisms and the total population of micro-organism 10 times that of the total number of cells in the body, it is no wonder science is finding many interactions between the bacteria and our body health.

Research has found that individuals without a proper environment of bacteria do not produce enough butyric acid, which supports the production of killer T cells in the intestine. Some experts estimate this gut-related immunity provides 80 percent of the body’s overall immunity.

Other scientists suggest our gut bacteria can even affect our moods. Bacteria transplanted from the gut of brave mice to timid mice made the timid mice more adventurous and vice versa.

Me at 95 pounds, suffering from severe digestive problems and allergies.

My Own Experience With Food Allergies

I was unwell with Fibromyalgia and Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 15 years. There was a point when I was only able to eat 12 foods. None of these foods were raw and the list often changed. I never knew which ones would be OK from one day until the next. The allergy clinic told me I was allergic to almost everything.

I had taken so much penicillin as a child that by 12 years old, the penicillin would not work. They had to find other antibiotics for me. I continued to take antibiotics on and off for the next 10 years. This explains why I had so many food allergies.

If I was allergic to all those foods years ago, why can I eat almost anything now?

I spent many years trying to strengthen my body with almost every health approach available. What brought me back to full health was specializedcustom health testing that included investigating Chinese herbal tonics. After one year of regular consumption and testing I felt fully alive again. It has been 13 years since my total recovery; I still count my blessings. You can read more of my full my fibromyalgia story here.

After having serious food restrictions for years, I truly understand what it is like for people who have food allergies or food sensitivities, so I now create healthy recipes that help people like me.

What are your experiences with allergies? Tell your stories in the comment section below.

99 comments

Susan Helmus
Susan Helmus3 years ago

GMO's, you didn't mention GMO's. They are altering the biological make up of food. How are our bodies supposed to process this when they have never seen it before, it doesn't exist in nature? My dad eats healthy, not a typical american diet, he now is allergic to peanuts. You can't blame his diet, and he is not one to get a lot of antibiotics. What happened before the food allergies became an epidemic???? GMO's got into the market.

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Elena P.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

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william Miller
william Miller3 years ago

thanks

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Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

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Sharon Stein
Sharon Stein3 years ago

I believe the invention and use of sanitizers makes almost no sense....It makes the immune system overreact!

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Elena P.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

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Franck R.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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june t.
june t3 years ago

thanks

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Carol Messina
Carol Messina3 years ago

Thank you for this article. I am 64 years old and I first became lactose intolerant in my late teens. It progressed to foods other than dairy. In my 30's I started experiencing hives and itching which first started in a small spot on my left wrist and covered larger areas predominantly on my left arm. I could not pinpoint the cause but it's severity seemed to depend on what and how much I consumed. This revelation that it was food took many years. Creams and antihistamines made it barable. After going on a restrictive diet about 10 years ago elliminating bread, sugar and bad fats the symptoms stopped cold. I have been taking probiotics for a while now but I need to find the right balance through out the day. Also recently I've gotten the itchy hives back and it seems to be any number of artificial ingredients. I made a list of every additive in all the things I've been consuming. My plan is to see a allergist/immunologist.

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