Tags: allergies | seasonal allergies | body's response to environmental toxins | allergic reactions | Yale study on allergies

Your Allergy May Be Good for You

Thursday, 26 April 2012 05:53 AM

Allergies might be the body's response to protecting itself from environmental toxins, say researchers, just in time for hay fever season.

A new theoretical study at Yale University School of Medicine argues that type-2 immunity, which helps protect against external environmental hazards by releasing T-cells, evolved to guard against things like large parasites, chemicals, and toxins — a decidely good thing.

The study poses the question of whether allergies, instead of being a plague, are actually helping to detoxify us of things that are noxious to our body, said Medical XPress.

It ponders whether certain things people are allergic to are toxic to certain people and not others, as some people do not have the right detoxifying mechanisms.

In that case, allergies are our last line of defense against that peanut butter, apple, or pollen that gives us stomach cramps or a runny nose.

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"Just because allergic reactions are perceived as a nuisance, we perceive them as a disease," said study author Ruslan Medzhitov, professor of immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, as reported the Associated Press.

"It makes a big difference when you go from thinking of something (as a) pathogen to think of it as something that can protect you."

Professor Medzhitov wrote that undoubtedly the system can, however, malfunction, causing extreme allergic reactions.

"We believe that allergic hypersensitivity evolved to survey the environment for the presence of noxious substances," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The paper appears in the journal Nature.

Copyright Global Post 2012

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Allergies, while considered a nuisance, actually may be helpful because they protect the body from environmental toxins, according to new research from Yale.
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Thursday, 26 April 2012 05:53 AM
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