Dietary Fibers Protect Against Food Allergies

Food allergies—an overreaction of the immune system to specific proteins found in food—are a growing food safety and public health concern that, in addition to health, affect school and work attendance, family economics, and social interactions. For example, results from a study published in 2013 show that children are bullied for their allergies, causing distress in both the bullied children and their parents. In addition, children with food allergies are often distressed and anxious “because they won’t touch a doorknob or use a bathroom, because they fear inadvertent exposure to their allergen.”

FruitsAndVegetables

Photo credit: Winniepix, CC BY 2.0

Food allergy symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways can appear even when coming in contact with very small amounts of the specific food causing allergy. In few instances, food allergies may result in severe symptoms or even anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. Many food allergies are first diagnosed in young children. However, they may also occur in older children and adults, and should not be confused with food intolerance, a less serious condition that is not immune system-related. “Food allergies are real and can be life-threatening. It would be folly to dismiss them. But many people think they have them when they actually don’t.” Indeed, people with food allergies have far less chance of dying from anaphylaxis than from an accident.

So, what causes food allergies, and what can be done to control them? Results from a recent study carried out in a mouse model provide information that will be helpful to answer these questions. The study (Dietary fiber and bacterial SCFA enhance oral tolerance and protect against food allergy through diverse cellular pathways} shows that food allergies in mice can be linked to what their gut bacteria—or microbiome—are being fed. Gut bacteria break down dietary fiber into their byproducts—primarily short-chain fatty acids. Mice that received a diet with average calories, sugar, and fiber content from birth had more severe peanut allergies than those that received a high-fiber diet. The gut bacteria of mice fed the high-fiber diet released specific fatty acids in response to fiber intake. The researchers found that these fatty acids support the immune system by binding specific receptors on T regulatory cells. The binding of fatty acids to these receptors triggers the T regulatory cells to initiate a cascade of events, which in turn regulates the inflammatory response in the gut.

Laurence Macia, one of the study co-authors, said in a press release: “We felt that the increased incidence of food allergies in the past ten years had to relate back to our diet and our own microbiome rather than a lack of exposure to environmental microbes–the so-called Hygiene Hypothesis. Most researchers in this field look at excess fat as the problem—we were one of the first looking specifically at fiber deficiency in the gut.”

Charles Mackay, another study co-author, added: “It’s likely that compared to our ancestors, we’re eating unbelievable amounts of fat and sugar, and just not enough fiber. And these findings may be telling us that we need that high-fiber intake, not just to prevent food allergy, but possibly other inflammatory conditions as well.”

20 comments

  1. Wow, I never knew that kids get bullied for their allergies. This is very alarming considering how children cannot control what they are allergic to. According to the bullying article mentioned in the post, the top three ways children with allergies get bullied is through teasing, waving of food, and being criticized, which goes to show how ignorant we are on allergies and the dangers of allergies. School systems are quick to teach exercise, healthy eating, and reduction of risky behaviors but seem to neglect educating all children on allergies.

    Also, I think it is very interesting that dietary fiber has a possible effect on the inflammatory response to food antigens. It seems that the effect is two-fold, both on oral and gut tolerance to food antigens. Allergies have been shown to have a hereditary component in some of the food allergy cases, meaning that parents with allergies can potentially pass down their allergies to their children. Using this logic and the information stated in the article, perhaps parents can incorporate more fiber in their diet to lessen the chance of their children developing allergies whether the parent has a known allergy or not. In addition, maybe mothers attempting to start a family and those expecting can increase their dietary fiber in order to possibly reduce the chance of their children having a food allergy. This increased fiber diet can continue during the child’s formative years, again to decrease the chances of a reaction from food antigens. Also, what if the children’s diet can be supplemented with foods that have high yield of short chain fatty acid, such as, flaxseeds, walnuts, and sardines, that way we supplement the need for increased fiber, with the specific byproduct that has been shown to bind directly to T-regulatory cells and thus regulate gut inflammatory response?

    • Yyemane1, yes, unfortunately, kids do get bullied for their food allergies, and I know from a personal experience. Food allergies to children mostly in the elementary and middle school sense of a joke because they cannot understand why another kid like themselves cannot enjoy the same food as them. I also agree with you that the increasing of fiber will indeed play a great role in reducing common allergies such as egg, wheat, shellfish and citrus fruit allergies that stay with a child until they reach adulthood. Like you said high fiber diet which helps regulated the immune system is highly needed to reduce the probabilities of being allergic to something and not only that it is highly important that school system adopts high fiber diet to the foods that they provide to the kids because by doing so we will be reducing childhood allergies.

    • I, too, found it interesting that dietary fiber has such an astounding effect on a person’s immune system. After doing some research, I also believe that if parents incorporate more fiber into their diet, it can lessen the chance of their children having a food allergy. According to an article posted to Mercola, recent studies have shown that “low fiber diets cause ‘waves of extinction’ in the guts of mice, and that this altered gut flora gets passed on to offspring.” Additionally, eating a diet that is more plant-based gives a person a more diverse gut microbiome than those who do not eat a lot of fruit or vegetables.

      In addition to the gut, I found a study that details how allergies are also linked to bacteria in the lungs. The study focuses on how bacteria in the lungs influence the immune system via dendritic cells. It found that bacteria aid DCs in regulating the production of IgA antibodies.

    • I agree that mothers and parents should eat a healthy diet, balanced with enough fiber. This will develop a healthier fetus as well as set a good example for their children. A healthy diet in general will prevent many health problems. As a child I always ate a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, and I’m glad to say that I do not have any allergies, nor does my sister. Obviously I can’t prove that it is only my fiber intake that prevented this, but healthy foods definitely play a role.
      Allergies and other health problems are on the rise, because unhealthy habits and processed foods are on the rise. This article is similar to Dr. Attanasio’s other post titled “Dietary Lipids Influence the Immune Response,” in that our body, physically and internally, reflects how we eat. I think a lot of people don’t realize how bad the foods they are consuming really are, and how much fiber they are lacking from natural sources.

    • Great points, but I did not at all find it shocking to learn that children are bullied based off of their food allergies. Younger children are just unaware that these kinds of things happen, unless their parents intervened and spoke to them about food allergies and such. The bullying seems to show how no matter what whether it be food allergies, obesity or anything else, people will find something to bully others about. As you said, we have been attempting to teach our children about health and exercise, but what we lack is the foundation of the science behind it. Children are always the ones continuously asking questions about how does this work and why does this do this, but no one seems to want to really explain, hence the bullying because they just do not know or understand for that matter.

      I really like what you are getting about supplementing the children’s diets as well. I think that would be a good idea for the children in the long run. Also, in an article I read another way they are thinking to help prevent allergies is to use probiotics and prebiotics. These are possible treatments though, that need to be looked further into. One question I wondered was that is a high sugar and fat diet the main way we are becoming more susceptible to food allergies? Or is that just for article purposes? I think if more research is done there are most likely many more ways food allergies can be conceived.

      References: NuritionReview.org. (2016, July 25). Nutrition Review. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://nutritionreview.org/2016/06/preventing-food-allergies-with-diet-high-in-fiber-and-vitamin-a/.

    • I, myself, have peanut allergies since I was little so I know how it is liked to be bullied by others about it. Allie, back to your question about high sugar and fat diet being the main ways, I believe that those are the main keys they look at but there may be other factors as well. Family history shows the best predication for a likelihood of any problem with a food allergy. If one parent is allergic is something, there is a twice as much chance that the child may develop that risk as well. If both parents are allergic to something, the risk increases 4-6 times. Breast feeding is a safe method to offer to the child rather than formula-based milk. In formula, there are ingredients such as lactose in which many are lactose intolerant. Sucrose are used to maintain a carbohydrate level similar to human milk. I believe that there should be alternatives to those foods that a child with allergy can consume and get all the supplements required for a perfect healthy life.

      According the article I read and link attach below, it is reported that children have higher levels of anxiety and stress. When a child is being diagnosed for a food allergy, the skin- prick test is done but nowadays positive tests can be harder to understand because skin irritation does not reflect to a true allergy which is a hypersensitivity reaction of the immune system. IgE antibodies in the blood are stimulated by an allergen in real allergy in which antibody binds to immune cells which releases chemicals to promote inflammation. According to study done by LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) , children are exposure to items such as peanut in tiny amounts to reduce the risk of allergy. Kids with milk and egg allergies can be gradually reduce the sensitivity by heating these foods for about 30 minutes to change the shape of proteins. This can help to provoke allergies.

  2. An increase in food allergies over the past couple of decades has been studied extensively and linked to the standard American diet’s low fiber content. The lack of fiber in our diet caused by the highly processed foods we intake make it impossible for our bodies to stay healthy and the lack of fatty acid production due to a change in gut bacteria has heightened our immune response. On the rise, is the most common type of eczema , atopic dermatitis , which is also caused by allergens in our diet. Although eczema general, only affects about 3% of adults in the U.S. currently, it is predicted that the percentage will continue to increase and the cause for adult onset eczema is due to our poor diet. Repeated intake of processed food, not only limits variation in gut bacteria and limits our intake of nutrients, but also toxins in our food can inter our bloodstream through breaks in the intestinal wall also causing an immune response. According to recent studies, eczema is one of the more common side effects observed by a wide range of people who are accustomed to eating processed foods, and is therefore linked to atopic dermatitis . While cases of atopic dermatitis continue to rise, systemic contact dermatitis is also becoming a huge concern. Increasing the awareness of the dangers of processed food containing allergens will not only prevent new diseases from arising but will also help control the existing conditions that alter our immune’s response. A diet higher in fiber and wholesome non-processed foods, may be all that is necessary to prevent food allergies in the future.

    • I found your post to spark an interest in exploring more about systemic contact dermatitis. Inclined to do further research, I went on to evaluate the term and what led to systemic dermatitis and the allergen groups associated with the condition. It is eczema in individuals who have to develop a previous contact dermatitis to a substance and exposed to the same content through a systemic route that includes ingestion, inhalation, or injection. The main allergen groups that associated with systemic contact dermatitis are metals, medications, plant and herbal products, and preservatives. An example of this is the contact exposure of nickel from nickels, zippers or jewelry and then when you ingest foods that contain nickel such as cocoa and beans that are where you get systemic contact dermatitis. The common symptom of this exposure is flare up in the previously affected area. The best treatment methods for systemic contact dermatitis are to avoid the known allergen and be informed of other elements that may contain the allergen. Over the counter, topical will help manage the swelling and redness associated with eczema. However, in my research, I did not come across systemic contact dermatitis becoming a growing dermatitis concern, so if you could, point me in that direction.

      Veien, N. K. (2011). Systemic contact dermatitis. International journal of dermatology, 50(12), 1445-1456.

    • great point Vicky, indeed increased cases of food allergies have been linked to low fiber diet content in the foods that Americans eat. If you were to look at countries where the access of food, sophisticated drinks is limited and the foods they eat are harvested right in their compounds, you will notice less allergic accidents among people, i know this from experience. the reason being is those people are more likely to eating more vegetables and fruits and drinking water compared to here in america where foods are made through industries and delivered to people. On the other hand, allergies might not be the only thing we need to worry about as far as diet is concerned; what about cancer?. In my endocrinology class, I learned that excess sugar in our diet can actually promote cancer cells growth. A normal cell in our body uses aerobic respiration in the glycolysis pathway, whereas cancerous cells use the anaerobic and they breakdown sugar at a rate of 10 to 12 times faster than normal cells.Therefore, sweetened drinks and what not should be decreased in our diets. moreover, the gut microbiota is part of the immune system as we all know, so if given something that it is not used to receiving, we should expect a reaction somehow. lymphocytes are sorted out in our secondary lymphoid organs by making sure they recognize self and reject non-self, same concept in the gut. scientist are doing great by finding explanations to things like food allergies, why they happen and how we can avoid them. The least we can do in that case as people is to take advantage of that. We can start by eating more fiber for example to save our children and their health.

  3. It’s amazing to how cruel children can be towards their peers. No one should have to be bullied based on their certain food allergies. I found this article interesting, because I never knew there was a correlation between bullying and food allergies.
    A high fiber diet not only reduces severe allergic reactions, but it also improves on various health factors. A diet like this one contains constant intake of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, etc. Roni Rabin stated that individuals that consume a high fiber diet have a lower chance of dying from cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Recent studies have shown that those with this diet live longer-from ages 50 to 71-than those who have a lower intake of fiber. Therefore, we can help ourselves become healthier and live longer just by adding more fiber to our diet. Even though these are interesting facts, the most interesting was how a high fiber diet improves glycated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c) while decreasing weight gain in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. In a relevant study published in 2016, a cross-sectional survey was done on 395 patients and resulted in the reduction of HbA1c and body weight while improving blood glucose control. So, what about Type 1 Diabetics and how does it help them? A study was performed associating young individuals with Type 1 Diabetes with a high fiber intake. The study, “Greater diet quality is associated with more optimal glycemic control in a longitudinal study of youth with type 1 diabetes,” further confirmed that a high fiber diet results in enhancing glycemic control. “People who ate more fiber were generally healthier, more educated and more physically active to begin with,” said Roni Rabin. By knowing this we can possibly prevent allergic reactions and/or other health factors from occurring.

    References:
    Nansel, T. R., Lipsky, L. M., & Liu, A. (2016, May 18). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/104/1/81.long.

    Rabin, R. C. (2011). Diet: High Fiber to Combat Death and Disease. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/health/research/22diet.htm.

    Velázquez-López, L., Muñoz-Torres, A. V., García-Peña, C., López-Alarcón, M., Islas-Andrade, S., & Peña, J. E. (2016, April 10). Fiber in Diet Is Associated with Improvement of Glycated Hemoglobin and Lipid Profile in Mexican Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4842057/

  4. This blog post introduces interesting points on what causes allergies, but I do think that it dismisses the hygiene hypothesis too quickly. I believe that both this theory and changes in diet can explain the development of allergic diseases. The hygiene hypothesis seems like a good explanation for why more developed countries have a higher rate of allergies. This is the idea that because we have less pathogenic infections, our immune systems get “bored” and thus more inflammatory disease develops. This concept was first introduced to me in a parasitology course I took at GSU. The professor explained the theory in terms of parasitic worms, saying that lower incidence of parasitic infections is correlated with higher frequency of diseases like Asthma and Crohn’s disease.
    An article on Live Science explains that the phenomenon can be credited to early childhood development. When we are young, we build our immune system by gaining exposure to different pathogens. The less contaminants a child is infected by in childhood, the more likely that contaminant will be to cause an inflammatory reaction later in life. These reactions can lead to disorders like asthma. It is difficult to believe that people should let their children get sick, so it necessary to find the proper balance. It is not recommended to keep a dirty living environment, but perhaps playing outside needs to be encouraged.
    Infecting ourselves with parasites to prevent allergies might not be a good idea. However, some patients that have already acquired immunological disorders have turned to such treatments. Autoimmune Therapies is a treatment facility in Santa Cruz that inoculates Asthma patients with hookworms. There are testaments of improvement from different patient’s comments listed on their website. Another article also provides evidence that intestinal helminths can also prevent or improve symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Researchers found that inoculation with the worms causes a change in the gut microbiota. This change allows mucus secreting cells lining the gut to retain their normal function.
    The fact that developed nations have many more cases of allergic disease than third-world countries do is well accounted for by the hygiene hypothesis. Awareness of this issue requires that parents continue to maintain a clean living environment, but become more relaxed when it comes to letting their kids be exposed to the outdoors. The hypothesis has also allowed for advancement in promising helminth therapies for immunological disorders.

    • You briefly touch on a major contributor to allergies with is the hygiene hypothesis. A researcher named D.P. Strachen first proposed it in the British Medical Journal in 1989.
      The theory asserts that “the reduction of early childhood infectious disease, due to widespread vaccination of children or increased use of antibiotics, has led to an increased prevalence of allergic diseases.” . I found this very interesting. He went on to say that most parents are very quick to expose their children to antibiotics for small infections such as common colds, which is not wrong but this act reduces the bodies ability to create it own immunity against pathogens. This act alone can and will ultimately be the reason our children more susceptible to immune-system deficiencies.

      Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035447_hygiene_hypothesis_dirt_health.html#ixzz4FfbXDJNj

    • I agree that the study was quick to dismiss the hygiene hypothesis. It has been proven time and time again throughout history that children who are exposed to pathogens early in age are generally more healthy in their lifetime. In our society, people have evolved to think that we have to maintain some ridiculous amount of cleanliness just to stay healthy which is simply not true, at least not to the extent that it has reached. For instance, a child plays with the bottom of their shoe and parents rush to get the sanitizing wipes. I believe this over abundance of sanitary products is contributing to allergic diseases. In a study titled Asthma and the hygiene hypothesis. Does cleanliness matter?, researchers demonstrated that neither household nor personal cleanliness was associated with a risk for asthma and allergies. They specifically looked at bacterial exposure in household dust as a result of cleanliness. It was concluded that the important part was allowing your children to be exposed to outdoor environments where they can be exposed to an array of bacteria to essentially train the body to give an appropriate immune response without over production. It is my opinion that we should throw away our antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. There is a very good reason why we have skin microbiota. Our bodies already have the proper defenses, it is up to us to give them proper exposure.

  5. As we have traced back probable cause of food allergies to our own micro biome, we probably need to revisit how we use antibiotics too. For me this part of the big picture seems to be underestimated. Alexander Fleming identified penicillin in 1928 and the antibiotics era started circa early forties. Since then we have been relying on antibiotics to ward off bacteria. The downside of using antibiotics is their mode of action is not specific, meaning they do not discriminate bacteria, and the good bacteria become equally vulnerable. Antibiotics are very common drugs in the pediatric populations of western countries. Mounting evidences show frequent use of antibiotics in infants and children heavily disrupts the gut ecology leading to long-lasting detrimental shifts in gut ecology.

    A recent article published in the Nature Communications also highlights this issue. The authors of the paper state that overweight and asthmatic children have distinct microbiota compositions. Once this equilibrium gets altered, there is no doubt that we become susceptible to various kinds of allergies.

    Reference: Korpela K, Salonen A, Virta LJ, Kekkonen RA, Forslund K, Bork P, Willem M. de Vos. Intestinal microbiome is related to lifetime antibiotics use in Finnish pre-school children. Nature communications,January 2016 Issue 7; 10410.

  6. This article proposes the necessity to conduct further research to evaluate whether increased fiber intake can provide beneficial remedies for diseases, in addition to its ability to lessen the predisposition to food allergies. A health condition known as Crohn’s disease is characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and is categorized as an inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) disease. Some of the symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease related to inflammation include persistent diarrhea with urgency to move bowels, rectal bleeding and abdominal cramps and pain. Currently, research has not discovered a definitive answer for the cause of Crohn’s disease however various factors which include hereditary, genetic disposition and environmental factors may all play a role. In addition, individuals diagnosed with Crohn’s disease experience worsening of their symptoms based on dietary factors and stress. In order to assess the relationship between the intake of dietary fiber and the manifestation of symptoms associated with Crohn’s diseases a clinical research study was performed to assess if patients hospitalized due to Crohn’s disease maintain a semi-vegetarian diet (SVD) post hospitalization discharge would they continue to have remission for the symptoms associated with active Crohn’s disease? Some of the characteristics of SVD previously mentioned is the daily intake of approximately 32.1 g of fiber by the daily consumption of rice, vegetables, and minimal eating of fish, meat and other animal based foods. In comparison to the SVD diet, the recommended daily amount in the country of Japan is 17g and 20g for men and women respectively.

    The results of the clinical study included 72% of the participants that maintained a SVD diet had their CD active symptoms remain in remission. Thus, the SVD clinical research study aforementioned illustrates evidence for the potential benefits of utilizing a high dietary fiber consumption to provide a preventative mechanism and treatment plan for inflammatory related diseases.

    M. Chiba, T. Tsuji, K. Nakane, M. Komatsu. High amount of dietary fiber not harmful but favorable for Crohn disease. Permanente Journal 2015;19(1):58–61. https://www.thepermanentejournal.org/files/Winter2015/DietaryFiber.pdf. Accessed July 27,2016.

    http://www.ccfa.org

  7. The idea that dietary fiber and gut bacteria can aid in preventing inflammation is extremely interesting. However, when I read this article, the first thing that came to my mind was my own allergies and how I overcame one of them. It is interesting to note that many of my cousins have allergies to tropical fruits like avocados, pineapples, bananas and kiwis. Because of this, my mom had been extremely cautious when giving me fruits to eat when I was little. I still remember the first time I had avocados at age 12 just to see if I would have a reaction. Lo and behold, I broke out into a rash all over my body and was rushed to the emergency room. This was the beginning of a potentially severe allergic reaction. After that incident, for a few years I did not even touch avocados or any of the tropical fruit mentioned earlier. However, in one of my undergraduate Microbiology classes, one of my professors did a lecture on building immune tolerance to antigens that cause allergic reactions. He told us that he was lactose intolerant for the longest time and one day he decided to gradually incorporate milk into his diet to see if he could build tolerance to it. He started off with drinking a few sips of milk a day, eventually increasing to half a cup, and one whole cup with no issues. After hearing this story, I decided to try this with avocados. Every time I went to a party that had guacamole dip or my mom made tacos at home, I would eat a bite or two in the beginning and eventually I was able to tolerate eating a good bit of avocados. I feel like this is similar to oral immunotherapy that is used today to gradually expose a person’s immune system to a particular antigen.

    • Ironically, I had a microbiology professor that told us how she increased her lactose tolerance as well. This is a form of treatment by desensitizing the food allergen. What is so amazing about this form of treatment is, it can be done at home and at your own pace. Oral desensitizing in food allergy can be done in most non-life-threatening food allergies. Antihistamines may be given to control mild side effects.

  8. Food allergies are increasing among young children as time has progressed. I always thought it was because of the exposure of various allergens, yet it makes more sense that it is due to diet and our own microbiota being affected as a result. I wonder what age food allergies present themselves and if this can be prevented from a high-fiber diet early on in a child’s life or if it is unpreventable. More studies evaluating the onset of food allergies should be conducted. It should also be stated the impact of an intact lung barrier to aid in the prevention of allergies and/or asthma. It has been found that “environmental exposures like air pollution and pathogens impair lung barrier function” (Smits et al. 2016). The airway can also affect immunity. It is important to have a diet rich in fibers, carbohydrates that are not digestible, and also omega-3/6 to help lung immunity as well as the gut microbiota to help allergy prevention.

    Smits HH, Vlugt LEVD, Mutius EV, Hiemstra PS. Childhood allergies and asthma: New insights on environmental exposures and local immunity at the lung barrier. Current Opinion in Immunology. 2016;42:41-47. doi:10.1016/j.coi.2016.05.009.

  9. It was really interesting to see how children are often bullied for their allergies. This causes stress for both the children and their parents. I agree that it’s important to really prevent or aid with living an allergy-free life by incorporating a few healthy eating habits, such as intake of fiber, to help reduce the mental and physical stress allergies may cause. As a Neurobiology and Behavior major, I’m always curious to see how diseases shape our psychological background. There was a recent study done to see how often children, with and without allergies, completing easy and difficult puzzles, requested help from their parent figures. Although there were no significant results published for older children, it was found that younger children with allergies requested help more often from their parents when solving the easy puzzles. Parent would then provide unnecessary help for those allergy-prone children. In my mind, this allows for lack of independence and poor problem-solving skills in younger children with allergies. Along with bullying, these children may also have stunted developmental growth because parents are more likely to provide too much care and comfort for these children. Therefore, rather than focusing on the negative factors, parents should help facilitate healthy dietary routines in children to help with allergies. And with the increase in food allergy instances in more recent times, it’s up to us to reverse this situation by researching ways to control the outbreaks.

    Dahlquist, L. M., Power, T. G., Hahn, A. L., Hoehn, J. L., Thompson, C. C., Herbert, L. J., . . . Bollinger, M. E. (2014). Parenting and Independent Problem-Solving in Preschool Children With Food Allergy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 40(1), 96-108. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsu087

  10. It is estimated that roughly 15 million Americans have food allergies, and roughly two children in every classroom according to Food Allergy Research and Education. It is interesting that this study claims to have found a link between lack of fiber and short chain fatty acids and food allergies and proposes to “debunk” the Hygiene Hypothesis. At first, it seemed to be the “light at the end of the tunnel,” proposing a finite means to end. A 2013 review Food allergy in Asia: How does it compare? published in the journal of Asia Pacific Immunity however, compiles data from 53 published articles regarding various allergy related data and statistics reporting in Asia. The review found Asian population food allergies to be “comparable” to that of the West, though the allergies are different (ie less peanut allergies and more shellfish allergies due to diet.) Claiming fiber deficiency and excess fat causing changes in the microbiome as the only factors involved in the origin of food allergies is flawed since the Asian population, who generally consume a generally healthier, less fatty and more vegetable-based diet still show prominent numbers of allergies reported compared to Western populations. With global industrialization, technology and the need for things “on the go,” it is likely that diet plays a role in allergy susceptibility, however there are likely other contributing factors yet to be discovered, including the Hygiene Hypothesis.

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