Food allergies and supplements
Allergies are the result of your immune system overreacting to allergens. Allergens can be pollen, animal dander or bee venom. Certain foods and drugs can also trigger an allergic reaction in humans.
We speak of an allergy when the body's immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance. Allergens that cause allergies are called allergens. Allergic diseases have increased rapidly over the past decades and affect 20-30% of the Indian population.
Some of the most common allergic disorders in India include asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema, anaphylaxis, drug and food allergies (among many others).
Allergens are generally harmless substances that trigger an immune response and cause reactions in people with allergies. The allergic reaction occurs if the person inhales, touches, swallows or injects this substance into their body. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, even life-threatening.
What are the different types of allergies?
The interaction of genetic and environmental factors leads to the development of allergy.
- Genetic predisposition
- Environmental factors: A wide range of allergens have been found in India due to variations in climate, diversity of vegetation and dietary habits.
- Exposure to allergens or irritants can trigger an allergic reaction.
- Dust mite droppings
- animal dander
- pollen grains
- fungal spores
- Insect stings and bites
- Latex (natural rubber)
- tobacco smoke
- Exhaust fumes
- Exposure to microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) during childhood.
The main routes of exposure to allergens in India are as follows
- Inhalation (airborne pollen grains triggering asthma)
- Contact (contact dermatitis)
- Ingestion (food allergy)
Allergies and food supplements?
Food supplements represent an interesting alternative to fight against allergies. At SIHO , we offer you natural supplements that will help you boost your body and strengthen your immunity.
Prebiotics modify the intestinal flora in the intestine, support the immune system and can modify natural allergic reactions. Studies have shown that prebiotic supplementation has clinical benefit for children with food allergies such as asthma and rhinitis or hay fever that affect the nose.
Prebiotic foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, or yogurt are also extremely beneficial because their fermentation process creates bacteria similar to those found in prebiotic supplements. And just like prebiotic supplements, they boost immunity and relieve allergies.
2. Vitamin D
A study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy found that correcting vitamin D levels has beneficial effects on patients with allergies, as well as children at risk of developing them. Research also shows that it can have a profound impact on their immune system.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in red wine, grapefruit, onions, apples and black tea. It has anti-inflammatory activity and antioxidant properties that prevent the growth of histamine from triggering an allergic response.
Research also shows that quercetin blocks substances involved in allergies - it can reduce symptoms by blocking their development. Quercetin is a safe and natural therapy that can be used as the main treatment or in conjunction with conventional methods of treating seasonal allergies.
Shilajit is one of the most important remedies in Ayurvedic medicine, which attributed to it the power to cure all diseases. Modern research has confirmed many of the properties that shilajit had in traditional medicine. This substance is found in the Himalayan mountains and means "destroyer of weaknesses".
Shilajit is beneficial for humans as it increases longevity, improves memory and cognitive abilities, reduces allergies and respiratory problems, lowers stress levels, relieves digestive disorders. It also has anti-inflammatory activity as well as antioxidant properties; it boosts immunity in addition to increasing strength and endurance.
Reishi mushrooms contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but they are particularly high in polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates) and beta-glucans. These compounds increase the number of white blood cells which contribute to the functioning of the immune system.
Reishi also contains triterpenes that help reduce inflammation. Another characteristic of reishi is that it can be used to treat allergies, asthma, and other respiratory disorders.
4. Stinging Nettle
Over the years, researchers have gathered plenty of evidence for the effectiveness of nettle — a plant whose leaves and stems bear stinging hairs — against seasonal allergies.
Nettle also helps treat anaphylaxis, migraines, cluster headaches, and allergic arthritis by acting as an anti-inflammatory herb that contains histamine; ironically enough, this can be helpful in countering severe allergic attacks.
A rigorous study showed how 69 patients with allergic arthritis benefited from medical treatment with nettle that suppressed certain pathways associated with allergic rhinitis.
When to consult an allergist?
"Obvious allergens are pretty easy to know," says Dr. Géraud, adding that if you're allergic to cats or a particular pollen, you probably already know. If so, and if the treatments you've tried are working, keep going.
If the natural food supplements or the medications you take do not help you and you suffer from allergies, Dr. Géraud advises to consult an allergist to exclude a chronic disease.
A clue that you could be facing a chronic allergy? A constantly stuffy nose.
“Chronic allergies like dust mites and mold usually cause nasal congestion,” says Dr. Géraud. "They can cause a few sneezes and maybe a runny nose, but for sure the main symptom is usually a stuffy nose."
The same advice applies if supplements aren't helping to beat your seasonal allergies.