My Gut Reaction to Allergies

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I was a dirty child. I spent a lot of time outdoors, I rarely washed my hands before eating, and I was not a picky eater. When using hand sanitizer became fashionable I refused to take part. I’ve always believed that there is such a thing as being TOO clean. And it appears that I might have been on to something! A new study shows that the presence of a certain gut bacteria  in mice can prevent or even cure food allergies.

“Environmental stimuli such as antibiotic overuse, high-fat diets, caesarean birth,removal of common pathogens and even formula feeding have affected the microbiota with which we’ve co-evolved. Our results suggest this could contribute to the increasing susceptibility to food allergies.”

I can believe this- bacteria are powerful! Anyone who has dealt with anthrax, the Black Plague or E. coli  can tell you just how powerful they can be. In my own body I notice (significantly less deadly) microbes at work all the time. I take Advair and whenever I move up to a higher dose I get thrush. It doesn’t matter how well I rinse out my mouth, within days the white patches start to crop up. However, if I take probiotics and eat yogurt I can control it. It amazes me how something I can’t see can make such a huge difference in my life!

I was allergic to chocolate for the first 25 years of my life and then I outgrew it. My father developed a slew of food allergies after he turned 45. How can allergies affect so many people in such varied ways and still leave us stumped? When I got tested for my chocolate allergy I sat in the hospital eating increasingly large amounts while a nurse stood by with an epi pen. I think I would have rather taken some Clostridia bacteria and been done with it. Perhaps a new cure is in the works!

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