Monday, 28 October 2013

Allergies - Food Allergy

Allergy is the over reaction of immune system to harmless substances after entering our body affecting 1 in every 3 people.

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Allergy is defined as the type I reactions or Immediate Hypersensitivity as a result of
over production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a class of allergic antibody by the immune system against harmless substance that lead to mediated release of histamine and other mediators from mast cells and basophils, resulting in allergic reaction, including mucus secretion, sneezing, itching, etc.

Types of allergy
A. Food allergy
Food allergy is a result of over production of antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE) of immune system in responding to harmless ingredients in the foods such as peanut, shrimp, crayfish, lobster, walnuts, peanuts, soy, legume, etc., after eating. Food allergy is severe food intolerance, in some cases, it may be resulted in fatal or hospitalization.
Food allergy can be classified into 2 types, depending to the length of the reaction of the immune system
1. Fixed food allergy
Fixed food allergy is defined as symptoms of allergy appeared immediately as soon as the allergic food is eaten.
2. 2. Marked (Cyclic) allergies
This types of allergic symptoms may taken longer to take effects, usually hour or days after the allergic food is eaten. Coiled foods allergy affects 90% of the patient of all cases.

A. 1. How to determine the severity of the allergic effects
Depending to the allergy stimulating effect, some researchers suggested to scale the severity from 1 to 4 and followed by degeneration scale, but from -1 to -4
A.1.1. The severity scale from +1 to +4
+1. The first level of stimulation
If there is no symptoms at all or If the patient is alert and function morally after allergic is eaten
+2. The second level of stimulation
The patient have become irritable, hyperactive, tense, thirsty, etc. after a suspected allergic foods is eaten
+3. The third level of stimulation
The patient have become hypomanic, aggressive, apprehensive, etc.
+4. The fourth level of stimulation
The patient have become mania, agitation, over excitement, etc.

A.1.2. Degeneration scale from -1 to -4
-1. If a patient is experience symptoms of reaction of runny nose, hive, diarrhea, etc.
-2. If a patient is experience symptoms of reaction of tiredness, fatigue, swelling etc.
-3. If a patient is experience symptoms of reaction of depression, mental disturbance, confusion, mood change, etc.
-4. If a patient is experience symptoms of reaction of sever depression, paranoia, etc.

A.2. Causes
Researchers knew that food allergy is caused by over production of antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE), but what trigger such production is still unknown.
a. Genetic passing through?
In a study of "Genetics of food allergy." by Hong X, Tsai HJ, Wang X. from the Source of Mary Ann and J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Children's Memorial Hospital and Children's Memorial Research Center, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA., researchers found that Genetics in food allergy is a promising research area but is still in its infancy. More studies are needed to dissect susceptible genes of food allergy. A genome-wide association approach may serve as a powerful tool to identify novel genes related to food allergy. Furthermore, the role of gene-environment interaction, gene-gene interaction, and epigenetics in food allergy remains largely unexplored. Given the complex nature of food allergy, future studies need to integrate environment, genomics, and epigenomics in order to better understand the multifaceted etiology and biological mechanisms of food allergy.

b. Environment?
In a study of "Genetic and environmental risk factors for the development of food allergy." by
Björkstén B. from the Source of Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, S 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden., researcher found that the causes of food allergy are still unknown and no particular genes associated particularly with food allergy have been identified, although there is a strong association in general between genetic susceptibility to food allergy and that to IgE-mediated allergy. There are still no measures for general recommendation in order to prevent food allergy and no genes have been linked conclusively to disease. Further research concentrating on food allergy is obviously needed.

3. Genetically Modified food
In an article of "Allergy from GM food" posted Sept. 2000, by EUROPEAN FEDERATION of BIOTECHNOLOGY, the author wrote that a new transgenic variety of Soya was developed as an improved animal feed by inserting a gene from the Brazil nut. It turned out in laboratory tests, done before commercialisation, that the new variety was potentially able to cause an allergic reaction in humans and the product was therefore not brought to the market. This shows that laboratory tests are a reliable means of testing GM products or other novel foods for potential allergenicity. Conversely, genetic engineering will, in the future, be able to remove specific genes from crops which may lead to less allergenic foods and thereby improve the life of those suffering from food allergies.

4. Etc.

A.3. Symptoms
Depending to the effect area after allergic food is eaten
1. Central nervous system
Certain allergic food can affect the central nervous system as it can pass through the blood and enter the brain of which interferes with the function, leading impaired thinking, depression, anxiety, inability of concentration, etc.
2. Skin reaction
As a result of the allergic food cause of over production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) of which affect the skin area, leading to rash, itching, inflammation, etc.
3. Respiratory reaction
If the immune system's over production if antibody affects the lung, it can cause breathing difficulty, wheezing, asthma, etc.
4. Digestive system
If the allergy affects the digestive system, it can cause diarrhea, abnormal cramps and pain, itching tongue, vomiting, indigestion, etc.
5. Cardiovascular system
It can cause abnormal beating, pallor, etc.
6. Adrenal system
It can lead to fatigue, low energy, tiredness, etc.
7. Etc.

A.4. Diagnosis
If you are experience food allergy, it is possible to find what types of food have trigger that, eliminating the offending foods can help to avoid the incidence to happen again. After recording the family history and a complete physical exam. you doctor may order
1. Rotation diets
The aim of this diagnosis is to find out types of food that the patient is allergic to. In this diagnosis, you are asked to write down all the foods of which have been eaten in the day when the allergy occurs. then each day one of the food is eaten only once on its rotation day and the length of the rotation cycle may be much longer than four to five days. If the allergic foods are found, you are asked to avoid them several months, then they are reintroduced with small quality to see how the immune system react to them. In most cases, patient can eat once in a specific time length or small quality. If you don't remember what you had eaten that day, your rotation diet will start with broader range of all (Most) foods that you are eaten daily.
2. Skin test
a. Intradermal test
It is one of most common test but time consuming( some patient may return for more 20 time for the injection) in diagnosis of allergy and depending to the symptoms, by injecting small amounts of diluted allergens into the top layers of the skin to see how the immune system react to them.
b. Skin prick testing
Similar to the Intradermal test, but the diagnosis involves in applying a drop of allergen into to punctures made on the skin.

3. Blood test ((RadioAllergoSorbent Test)
This is the test for evaluating of the levels of IgE-mediated food allergies react to a particular allergen. If you RAST score is higher than the predictive value for that food, 95% chance you will have an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, non-IgE mediated allergies cannot be detected by this method.

4. Challenge Tests
Because of the risk of anaphylaxis, most doctors will avoid the test unless it is absolutely necessary and the test is performed only in the hospital. In this test, suspected allergen package into capsule taken by patient and signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction are observed.

5. Kinessiolody
the test is done by placing the suspected allergic food under the tongue of the patient and asked to lower the stretched arms against the force of the doctor. If the patient can not lower the arms, it may be an indication of allergic effect.

6. Etc.

A.5. Preventions
There is no way that a patient can prevent food allergy, unless the patient eat less than the amount that can trigger the allergy or completely withdraw from eating them. According to the article of Possible Causes of Food Allergies posted at, empowering families and communities managing food allergy, the author wrote that FDA biochemical engineer Tong-Jen Fu, Ph.D., is analyzing methods currently used by scientists to determine the allergenic potential of new proteins that may be introduced in food. "The only way people can avoid allergic reactions to food is to avoid eating those offending foods," says Fu. "But we know that there is some possibility that a new protein in food may be an allergen for some individuals. So it is important to have sound scientific methods for assessing whether a new protein will be an allergen."

A.6. Treatments
A.6.1. Conventional medicine
1. Rotation Diet
In Rotation Diet, you are asked to write down all the foods of which have been eaten in the day when the allergy occurs. then each day one of the food is eaten only once on its rotation day and the length of the rotation cycle may be much longer than four to five days. If the allergic foods are found, you are asked to avoid them several months, then they are reintroduced with small quality to see how the immune system react to them. In most cases, patient can eat once in a specific time length or small quality. If you don't remember what you had eaten that day, your rotation diet will start with broader range of all (Most) foods that you are eaten daily.

2. Anaphylactic reactions
people with sever symptoms of food allergy is advised to carry a self-injectable form of epinephrine, or adrenaline prescribed by their doctors and seek hospital attention as soon as possible.

3. Other mild symptoms
Other mild food allergic symptoms are treat according to the types of medication, including Bronchodilators, anti-allergics, antihistamines, NSAIDs, etc.

A.6.2. Nutritional supplements
1. Antioxidants
Since Allergies are caused by immune over reaction of certain harmless substance, enhancing immue system is one of the best way to prevent and treat them as some researchers suggested that allergies may be caused by weakened immune system over aggression. Vitamin A, E, C are antioxidants and free radical scavengers, they protect the immune system from free radicals attack and help to reduce levels of histamine in the blood. For more information of antioxidants and health effects

2. Vitamin D
According to the article " Vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in development of allergies posted in Washing Post, Monday, March, 7, 2011, " Allergies and Vitamin D, Youths low in 'sunshine vitamin' may be more prone to allergies",the author wrote that analyzed data on 6,590 people, roughly half of them 21 years of age and younger and half older. The group was deemed representative of the U.S. population. Vitamin D levels were determined by blood tests, as was sensitivity to 17 common allergens. Among the youths, food and environmental allergies were greater in those with lower levels of Vitamin D. Young people deficient in Vitamin D were about twice as likely as those with higher levels of the nutrient to have peanut or ragweed allergies and nearly five times as likely to be allergic to oak.

3. B-complex
in a study of "Vitamin B-6 deficiency impairs interleukin 2 production and lymphocyte proliferation in elderly adults." by Meydani SN, Ribaya-Mercado JD, Russell RM, Sahyoun N, Morrow FD, Gershoff SN., USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111. posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that Vitamin B-6 deficiency impairs in vitro indices of cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly adults. This impairment is reversible by vitamin B-6 repletion.

4. N-accetyl-cysteine (NAC)
It is an antioxidant and an amino acid precursor to glutathione which helps to strengthen immune system against cold, flu and allergy and enhances the respiratory system functioning.

5. Coenzyme Q10
It is an immune and nervous system enhancer, according to the article of "CoQ10 Helps the Immune System and Brain Function" by A.S. Gissen, posted in, the author wrote that In 1970, it was first reported that CoQ6 and CoQ10, when administered to rats, significantly enhanced immune cells' ability to kill bacteria, as well as elevated their antibody response.

6. Alpha lipoic acid
Alpha lipoic acid is another antioxidant which promotes the immune system by enhabcing the function of other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, glutathione, etc. according to the article of "A relatively unknown antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid, may be more potent than vitamins C and E" by Robert Sander, the author wrote that Because both alpha-lipoic acid and dihydrolipoic acid are antioxidants, their combined actions give them greater antioxidant potency than any natural antioxidant now known, Packer says. He notes another property of alpha-lipoic acid that makes it a great antioxidant. Since it is soluble in both water and fat, it can move into all parts of the cell to neutralize free radicals. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is limited to the watery parts of cells because it is soluble only in water; while vitamin E is soluble only in fat and sticks to the fatty parts of cells.
8. Digestive enzyme
Digestive enzymes are absolutely vital to human health, they break down large protein molecules, so essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals can be easily absorbed.
According to the article of "Digestive Enzymes Combat Leaky Gut and Food Allergy" , he wrote that toxin damage causes tiny holes to form in the normally tight barrier between the cells lining the GI Tract (leaky gut), which allows relatively large molecules of food protein to pass through and encounter the immune surveillance (60% + of body’s overall immune system is in and around the GI tract), which then “tricks” the immune system into “believing” the foreign protein from a food is a threat to the body. This sets up an attack mode against perfectly nutritious food protein, which is called a food (and/or “brain”) allergy.

9. Minerals
a. Zinc
It corrects the digestive system cause of allergy as a result of deficient production of stomach acid.
b. Calcium
It beside is considered as essential mineral for healthy bone, calcium is also important to reduce the risk of allergy. According to the study of "Calcium-deficiency rickets in a four-year-old boy with milk allergy." by Davidovits M, Levy Y, Avramovitz T, Eisenstein B.(Nephrology Unit, Children's Medical Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that These findings were thought to be the result of dietary calcium deficiency caused by the prolonged elimination from his diet of cow milk and milk products because of allergy. Adequate intake of calcium resulted in rapid improvement.
c. Potassium
It enhance the adrenal gland function, thus reducing the symptoms of allergy cause of fatigue, weakness, tiredness
d. Magnesium
It is vital to relieve the allergy symptom of asthma and respiratory problems
e. Etc.

10. Etc.

A.6.3. Herbs
1. Panax Ginseng
In a study of "Effects of Red Ginseng extract on allergic reactions to food in Balb/c mice." by
Sumiyoshi M, Sakanaka M, Kimura Y. (Division of Functional Histology, Department of Functional Biomedicine, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Shitsukawa, Toon City, Ehime 791-0295, Japan.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers suggested that It may also protect against sensitization to antigens as an immunomodulator by increasing intestinal IgA secretion without affecting antigen-specific IgE levels. In conclusion, Red Ginseng roots may be a natural preventative of food allergies.

2. Garlic
It is best known for treating cold and flu and enhances immune system against alll types of foreign invasion. According to the study of "Immunomodulatory Effects of Aged Garlic Extract"
Eikai Kyo, Naoto Uda, Shigeo Kasuga and Yoichi Itakur, Posted in the "Journal of Nutrition" in March 2001, researchers strongly suggest that AGE (Aged Garlic Extract) could be a promising candidate as an immune modifier, which maintains the homeostasis of immune functions; further studies are warranted to determine when it is most beneficial.

3. Grape seed extract
Grape seed extract is best known for its antioxidant property in delay aging, it also acts as a natural histamine inhibitor, thus reducing the risk of allergic responses.

4. Licorice root
Beside is nest known to lower stomach acid levels, relieve heartburn and indigestion, licorice root is also boost the levels of interferon of immune system to fight off attacking viruses. According to the article of "Licorice, plantain and nettle herbs used in the treatment of Allergies" posted in Bitteroot restorationthe author wrote that This ( Licorice root) can actually help to counteract many of the symptoms that are associated with allergies.: It also contains substances which work to thin the mucus and soothe to respiratory passages, which can reduce irritation that often accompanies allergies and their symptoms.

5. Turmeric
Turmeric paste has been used in traditional herbal medicine as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps to treat allergy. According to an article "Vitamin D and turmeric for allergies" by Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon posted in Washington Post, May 11-2009, the authors wrote that In animal studies, turmeric prevents the release of histamine from mast cells (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, September 2008). If it works similarly in humans, this would prevent allergy symptoms from developing.

6. Sting Netttle
Sting Netttle contains antihistaminics which has been used as cream in treating symptoms of allergy. In a study of "Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis." by Roschek B Jr, Fink RC, McMichael M, Alberte RS.(HerbalScience Group LLC, 1004 Collier Center Way, Suite 200, Naples, FL 34110, USA.) posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that Through the use of DART TOF-MS, which yields exact masses and relative abundances of compounds present in complex mixtures, bioactives have been identified in nettle that contribute to the inhibition of pro-inflammatory pathways related to allergic rhinitis. These results provide for the first time, a mechanistic understanding of the role of nettle extracts in reducing allergic and other inflammatory responses in vitro.

7. Butterbur
Has been used over thousand of years in herbal medicine in treating symptoms of allergy, including to treat coughs,, asthma, stress, muscle relaxant, etc..According to the article of "Allergy" posted in The University of Michigan health System, the article indicated Two double-blind studies have compared butterbur extract to standard antihistamine drugs in people with hay fever. The first compared it with the drug cetirizine (Zyrtec) and found the drug and butterbur extract relieved symptoms equally well. However, cetirizine caused significantly more adverse effects, including a high rate of drowsiness.4 The second study compared butterbur extract with fexofenadine (Allegra) and placebo. Butterbur extract was as effective as fexofenadine at relieving symptoms, and both were significantly better than placebo.

8. Ginkgo
Ginkgo leaves contain ginkgolides, which inhibit platelet-activating factor cause of asthma and allergies. according to the study of "Ginkgolides Antagonizing Some Effects of Platelet-activating Factor in Vitro" vy Dong JC, Li M, Shi ZY (Huashan Hospital, Shanghai Medical University) posted in, researchers found that exposure of guinea pigs' bronchus to PAF in vitro resulted in a loss of beta-adrenergic receptors and responses to isoproterenol, and this effect of PAF was prevented by prior incubation of the guinea pigs' bronchus with ginkgolides (P < 0.05). The results showed ginkgolides were a potent PAF antagonist.

9. Etc.

A.6.4. Traditional Chinese medicine
1. The Chinese herbal formula FAHF-2
In a study of "The Chinese herbal medicine formula FAHF-2 completely blocks anaphylactic reactions in a murine model of peanut allergy." by Srivastava KD, Kattan JD, Zou ZM, Li JH, Zhang L, Wallenstein S, Goldfarb J, Sampson HA, Li XM., Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA. posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that FAHF-2 treatment completely eliminated anaphylaxis in mice allergic to peanut challenged as long as 5 weeks posttherapy. This result was associated with downregulation of T H 2 responses. FAHF-2 may be a potentially effective and safe therapy for peanut allergy.

2. Ingredients
1. Lingzhi (Reishi Mushroom)
Main use: Tonifies Qi and Body Fluids, Nourishes Yin and Blood, Strengthens the Spleen and the Stomach,...
2. Wu Mei (Chinese Magnoliavine Fruit)
Main use: Strengthens the Lungs, Nourishes the Kidneys, Promotes generation of Body Fluids, Stops sweating, Stops diarrhea,...
3. Chuan Jiao (Szechuan Pepper Fruit)
Main use:
Warms the Middle Burner, Disperses Cold, Alleviates Abdominal Pain, ....
4. Huang Lian (Coptis Rhizome)
Main use:
Clears Heat, Dries Dampness, Disperses Fire; Expels toxins.....
5. Huang Bai (Amur Cork Tree Bark)
Main use:
Clears Damp Heat, Dries Dampness, Disperses Fire, Expels toxins,....
6. Gan Jiang (Dried Ginger)
Main use: Warms the Middle Burner, Warms the Lungs, Transforms Phlegm,....
7. Gui Zhi (Cinnamon Twig)
Main use:
Releases the Exterior, Warms the Channels, Tonifies the Yang,...
8. Ren Shen (Ginseng Root)
Main use:
Strongly tonifies Original Qi, Tonifies the Spleen and Lungs; Promotes generation of Body Fluids, Relieves thirst,...
9. Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root)
Main use: Tonifies and Moves Blood, Calms pain, Moistens the Intestines,...

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