Understanding Allergies: New Research and Findings

Author: Sudha & Stewart   Date Posted:23 July 2018 

Understanding Allergies: New Research and Findings Allergies are one of the most interesting and, seemingly, complex human health conditions plaguing people in the 21C.

Understanding Allergies: New Research and Findings

Allergies are one of the most interesting and, seemingly, complex human health conditions plaguing people in the 21C. Hay fever or Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, to give it its proper name, affects between 10% to 30% of the global population, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures. The same statistical source reports up to 40% of the world’s population being sensitised to foreign proteins in the environment, which means these people produce lgG antibodies and experience an allergic reaction. These figures indicate billions of people are suffering from allergies on the Earth at this time in our history. Why is it so and what can we do to alleviate the suffering?

Allergies Are the Most Common Chronic Conditions Globally

Allergic reactions can range from feeling unwell to experiencing life-threatening reactions. It is our own immune system which is causing the reaction, as it seeks to protect us from invading organisms. Why are some people allergic to things like: pollen, dust, mould, certain foods, animal hair, insect stings, and various drugs, whilst others are not? It seems unfair and, in my own experience, having been married to a severe hay fever sufferer, it can make their lives hell. To help those who do not understand the seriousness of allergies I will reveal the fact that my best friend took his own life after decades of terrible allergic reaction skin afflictions plagued his existence. 

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHA) website states that 31% of Australians reported experiencing asthma or another chronic respiratory condition in 2014-15, which is some 7 million people.

Allergies & Kid’s Immune Systems

Dr. Peter Hsu is currently studying the Development of the Immune System in Children, with a grant from the Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA). He and colleagues from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead are exploring this in relation to children with allergies and hope to develop strategic approaches for the prevention and treatment of allergies.

Pollen Monitoring Program

The Australian Pollen Allergy Partnership, led by Assoc. Professor Janet Davies from the Queensland University of Technology are developing this nation’s first standardised pollen monitoring program. Avoiding pollen exposure can save lives, when it comes to reducing outbreaks of Allergic Rhinitis. Reliable data and a national approach to the problem can help sufferers manage their condition more effectively.

Probiotics Can Help Hay Fever Sufferers

Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland has conducted a pilot study into the effectiveness of probiotics in treating hay fever. The results have been encouraging, with around 63% of sufferers reporting a significantly improved quality of life. Probiotics may suppress inflammatory responses in the regulatory cells of the immune system.

Curing the Peanut Allergy

A treatment home-grown in Melbourne has made breakthroughs in curing the peanut allergy in kids. 82% of the children who took part in the study were able to eat peanuts following the process. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute was responsible for the clinical trials. The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus was a critical ingredient used in the treatment. Professor Tang, the scientist responsible for the trials, stated, “Probiotics are very potent immune-modulating agents…”

These are just some of the exciting new research and findings occurring in the allergy field. We will be regularly updating this topic to keep our readers informed of the latest breakthroughs.


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