What Causes Food Allergies?

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

For some people, a simple peanut or a bite
of a shrimp can cause the body’s immune system to wildly overreact. In some cases, the results can be deadly. But what exactly is happening in the body
for it to confuse nuts or shellfish with a true threat? By definition, a reaction to a food is only
considered an actual allergy if the immune system is involved. And if the response is caused by immune cells
called IgE antibodies, which we’ll get more into later. But it’s important to distinguish an allergy
from a sensitivity or an intolerance, which involve uncomfortable symptoms as a reaction
to food, but don’t cause an immune response. So if you’re lactose intolerant, you’re not allergic to milk. Hi. My name is Tina Sindher. I’m a Clinical Assistant Professor in allergy and immunology at Stanford University. And I see patients in my clinic with, eczema, with asthma, food allergies, with environmental allergies. And my main focus lies in food allergy
research. In order to understand food allergies, we
need to know how the body evaluates food in the first place. In a typical immune system, your body is constantly
evaluating different antigens to deem them either benign or dangerous, in this case,
the proteins on the food particles. When they eat a peanut for the first time,
their body kind of tells your immune system, like, look at this, this is a peanut, do not
fight this in the future. So that every time they eat a peanut, their
immune system does not react to it at all. The immune system is basically building up
a tolerance for the next time peanuts are around. But in the allergy afflicted, by the time
they eat something like a peanut, their body is already primed for an immune response. Our immune system is kind of like a seesaw,
it needs balance. So, on one side of the seesaw is your T regulatory
cells. And they are kind of your brakes. They’re the cells that tell your immune system,
calm down, slow down, do not fight this. And then the Th2 is your allergic cells. And they are ready to go, and revved up. And they will bring in all other inflammatory
cells to fight what they perceive as danger. In most people, the T regulatory cells hold
more weight in determining what’s problematic and what’s harmless. But in people with a more Th2-skewed system,
their cells sound the alarm much more easily and have a high sensitivity to the harmless
proteins on foods, most commonly milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish. But having a skewed immune system isn’t
enough, there has to be a trigger point to developing a specific allergy, and that’s
still not completely known. One of the proposed thoughts on how allergy begins has to do with the allergen entering the body the wrong way, through the skin. Minuscule food particles floating in the air
can enter the body through the skin if there is dysfunction in the skin barrier due to
something like eczema. We’re talking about nanoparticles
of peanuts. So it can be in your bedding, it can be in
the air. You might be getting exposed to it without
any knowledge of it. It’s that it’s entering our, it’s interacting with our immune
system in a way that it’s not meant to. We’re not supposed to get food allergens to
come in through our skin. Or environmental. So really the initial process is the barrier breakdown that we’re seeing. So, in some people, when immune cells in the
skin encounter these antigens, they recognize that they are foreign and in the wrong place. This ultimately signals the immune system
to produce antibodies called immunoglobin E or IgEs to fight against the food proteins. Now, when this same food is finally ingested
the right way through the mouth, the body’s IgE’s will recognize it as a threat and
respond in full force, leading to an allergic reaction. And the way this looks is basically, when
your mast cells and basophils open up, they contain histamine and tryptase, and tryptase
and a bunch of other inflammatory mediators. And those are what drives the reaction. This inflammatory response mirrors the body’s
reaction to a parasitic infection. But, skin exposure is not dangerous for those with food allergy already. Our body shouldn’t be responding like that,
right, to food, and that’s what we’re hoping to figure out, and that’s what we’re hoping
to prevent. We know that our immune system has developed
this kind of response, but we don’t know the why. There is a genetic component to who has allergies
and who doesn’t. Children whose parents have allergies are
more likely to have allergies themselves. But there are other environmental factors
at play that mess with the balance of the seesaw of an individual’s immune system. So it’s not one thing, it’s multifactorial. And it’s our diet, it’s our lifestyle, it’s
modern conveniences that may push us kind of over the edge for some, not all, but some. The thing is, we might just be too clean. This is what’s known as the hygiene hypothesis
which says that a lack of exposure to germs early in life can trigger the immune system
to mistake a food protein as an invading germ. So for fewer allergies, maybe… Get a dog, roll around in dirt, don’t wash
your clothes, and play in the sun.

100 thoughts on “What Causes Food Allergies?

  1. Don't use hand sanitizer. People are too afraid of germs. They are good for you! Let your kids play in dirt.

  2. But after your body developed an allergy against something wouldn't exposure to that allergy just make the body produce more antibodies for that specific allergy?

  3. Wow! This makes so much sense! My daughter has milk and egg allergy, and I always wondered how. But as a baby and when we were introducing foods she had very bad eczema especially around her face. I remember the first one or two times we gave the food to her she did not have a full blown reaction, but her skin around her mouth got very red and irritated. Hopefully she grows out of it. Life with food allergies for a kid is hard. She doesn’t fully understand why she can’t eat what the other kids eat yet ☹️

  4. Can food allergy develop at any point in your life?
    How's the diagnosis, is it "trial and error" or there's some kind of test?

  5. so basically, because my mother cleaned the house EVERY DAY since I can remember is the reason I am now allergic to everything you can be allergic to?? !!

  6. Quote from the video:- "Immune cells called IgE antibodies"? Are the immune cells actually called that?

  7. Environmental:
    Bug bites: (some ticks can cause meat allergies)
    Vaccines: some vaccines have egg and peanut proteins which are injected intramuscularly which "optimizes immunogenicity" (meaning larger immune response from the injection).

    And yet…. we are saying that it's particles in the air with kids who have eczema? Eczema is an immune response to? Allergens!

    I wish some people could understand science rather than believing what propaganda machines tell us.

    Actually read up the studies.

  8. So, this is the sleep music for the sheep, that can't seem to wrap their heads around the 'elephant in the room'. Any independent research will show significant and undeniable correlations between gmo's (altering the very dna of plant cells to make it toxic to insects) and glyphosate from roundup (major component in the chemical 'agent orange' and pervasive throughout the world, to the point, where it was even found in the kidneys of a polar bear). It's found in many foods, including peanut butter and Quaker oats. Heck, that's not even getting into, geoengineering and 5g and what effects these have on one's immune system.

    If your audience thinks truth isn't being suppressed, then they should know all about the most decorated American ship ever, as a result of combat. They just had the 52nd memorial service at the Washington Plaza. As far as I could tell. only about 20 people were in attendance along with a conscientious independent media company, Trunews covering the event. I am Canadian and I find it shameful that I probably know more about the USS Liberty than most Americans that purport to be in solidarity with their troops. Msm has a script and they sing lullabies to distract people from the real monsters (Monsanto/Bayer et al), but hey…. have a nice day.

  9. Lol! Don't want to sounds rude or anything, but. She dressed exactly like my mom 15 years ago. 😂😂

  10. TOO CLEAN, people. It doesn't mean you swing wildly the other way and not clean your hands after taking a dump and wiping your butthole with half toilet paper/half palm.

  11. I usually just keep eating the food that causes a reaction in tiny amounts then eventually it just stops causing a reaction after months

  12. "Get a dog. Roll around in dirt. Don't wash your clothes. Um, and play in the sun." … But DON'T apply peanut butter to toddlers' wounds!

  13. 04:30: "We're too clean."

    This is why I flat out REFUSE to use anti-bacterial soap! The fact that it (and hand sanitisers) are now common – if not required – in daycares and elementary 🏫s is ridiculous!

  14. So you are saying due to the facts that I spread peanut butter on my skin as a baby is the reason I'm allergic

  15. 0:25 “caused by immune cells called IgE antibodies” that sentence could not be more wrong. The immune cells that mediate the inflammatory response that we call allergies are called mast cells. Mast cells use IgE antibodies to recognize the antigen, in this case the shrimp or peanut etc..

  16. i was born and raised in mexico for a part of of my childhood, straight up playing in the dirt and with dogs
    glad to report that i rarely get sick, not immune but its rare when i get sick and its very quick too.

  17. allergies are weird.. used to be lactose intolerant, but since i started eating hot peppers constantly, i can suddenly eat dairy.
    no idea how that worked for me

  18. The hygiene hypothesis has mirrors in Classicism to the parable of Achilles: expose your children to everything, and they become all the stronger for it.


  19. My body: EGGS! WE CANT EAT EGGS!

    My mom: Eh, eggs are good for you, have some milk it will make you grow
    Me, in pain: D:

    (I had no immune system for the first 8 years of my life, which likely caused my allergy with eggs, gluten intolerance, and Lactose intolerance. There was no precedent in my family for any of these issues, and I don’t even get seasonal allergies, unlike my mother. My immune system built itself wrong 🙂 )

  20. Personally, I lean toward "the hygiene hypothesis." I'm in my mid sixties and when we were kids we played in the dirt, picked and ate berries, other fruits and vegetables and I honestly can't remember anyone who ever had food allergies.

  21. I have a deadly reaction on mangos when consumed, but just holding them does nothing to me, so what’s up with that? In fact I did research and it says that the allergic reaction is to the proteins found on the outside of the mango. Again though, touching it does nothing, and I react once I actually ingest mango.

  22. When I was a kid everybody in class ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Now, peanut butter is banned from schools. WTF happened?

  23. we're too clean? LOL , is that a joke?
    I work in a office and I can tell how snub people is dirty as F !!! Yes, snub people are 1000 more dirty than normal people.

  24. It sucks having a allergy to milk because everyone thinks you’re just lactose intolerant. I get a rash on my neck and jaw along with cramps. I carry two epi pens everywhere I go as a precaution. Thankfully I haven’t had to use them yet. I’m hoping that I will outgrow my allergy one day.

  25. OMG THANK YOU!! I’ve never looked into it but I’ve always wanted to know what causes me to be allergic to shrimp :,(

  26. So what I got from that was that the allergy “stick test” they do to check kids for allergies may actually be causing them?! That’s messed up!

    That may explain the surge in peanut allergies as parents have been told to delay giving their kids any peanut products. The odds are then greater their first exposure will be through the skin and not the mouth.

  27. My sister is 34- never had an allergy to anything. 2 weeks ago ate a nut bar and had to go to the emergency room. Now she has to carry around an epi-pen. Randomly developed a nut allergy…

    So mind boggling

  28. May I ask is their any case even you don't have allergies to any foods in your younger years but suddenly in adulthood your body reacted to a food you know you don't allergies on it?

  29. For fewer allergies maybe: Get a dog, roll around in dirt, don't wash your clothes, play in the sun, eat your own poop

  30. So, should we start feeding babies with every food protein possible so that their immune systems can get use to it? Like a food allergy vaccine?

  31. I've been an allergy sufferer for my whole life (>27 years, against egg, nuts, fish, animal's saliva/spittle) and still didn't know some of these things!

  32. I want to know why my body has decided to be allergic to sweat tbh. Like why does the human body just decide to be allergic to something THE BODY NATURALLY MAKES? Like I'm literally not allergic to any food or meds (knock on wood) :V Frustrating lol.

  33. Sooo, we just need to ignore those baby guidelines of not introducing peanut butter, honey, etc. before age of 1 and just introduce it as early as possible? I never followed those rules anyways and my 3 kids have no food allergies.

  34. Hi everyone, some of you have noticed that earlier in the video we refer to IgE antibodies as immune cells, and that isn’t correct. Immunoglobulin E is produced by the immune system and attaches to mast cells, but is itself not a cell.

  35. "They are foreign…. and in a wrong place"

    There are so many ways to interpret that sentence ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  36. Misleading title, which suggests that the content has an answer for us to the posed question, or at least is devoted to possible theories.

    A possible theory is touted at the very last sentence, but really this should be titled something like "How do allergic reactions work?"

  37. if I am intolerant to clams and quail eggs what other things can I be intolerant to?? is there any way to treat it??

  38. Digestive tract is lined with a variety of types of skin. If something happens to this lining particles of food can enter the bloodstream.

  39. An allergist told me that even though I got itchy, uncomfortable, and wheezed after eating certain foods, they weren't allergies. Yeah… I have a new allergist!

  40. I’m Allergic to Every Type of Nut, Shellfish, Salmon, Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Carrots, Lettuce, Basically every type of Fruit or Vegetable, Trust me I’ve tried them all in Hope of finding something else to eat….I haven’t. Also Chocolate, Latex, I’m Lactose intolerant , Seeds are a No…like Sunflower seeds, can’t eat wheat either. Also allergic to Alcohol, so that sucks. Can’t have Eggs.

    If I eat any of the listed above I run the risk of Dying from Asphyxiation. So basically no Plant Matter, period.

    So I basically live off Meat, Water, Milk and White Bread, White bread and Milk only make me really really sick but doesn’t kill me, and I take a bunch of pills to keep myself from collapsing from Deficiencies in Vitamins and Minerals.

    I might as well mention my other Medical problems like how I have Asthma, and Klinefelter’s Syndrome so I have to take Testosterone shots every 2 weeks and that I’m Sterile, basically can’t have kids.

    Not sure if I’m missing anything, oh! Pollen, Dogs, Cats, other Seasonal Allergies, wool and I think that’s it.

    So now I have to find out who rubbed my body in Everything and then play in the Dirt.

  41. So when I was 8 I was allergic to nickel and fast forward 6 years later it just disappeared 🙆 but then I developed an allergy for horses and dust 😔✌

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