Asthma Chest & Allergy Centre

A centre of excellence providing treatment of Asthma, Allergies and Chest Diseases since 1992

Could Antibiotic Overuse be related to Food Allergy ?

Food allergies are actually a fairly recent thing – more and more recognized perhaps in the last 20 or 30 years. There were very few people throughout history who have suffered from peanut allergies or gluten intolerance. Only recently have food allergies become a thing of concern. Could there be something that we – modern mankind – are doing wrong?

Why We Are Allergic to Food

Did you know that food allergies increased over 50% in just 10 years? But what could be causing this? According to a number of experts, a lot of the blame rests on the shoulders of antibiotics.

Many naturalists have been ranting and raving against antibiotics for years. Perhaps there is a little bit of truth in what they say. No doubt they are life saving in certain situations. It’s also true that they are misused and over used. And this is certainly a matter of concern. Studies have discovered that there may be a concrete link between food allergies and high antibiotic use.

In 2004, a study conducted in the University of Chicago took a look at the connection between food allergies and the bacteria living in your guts. A number of rats with peanut allergies were tested, and their reactions to the peanuts noted.

The scientists leading the study then gave the rats a type of gut bacteria called Clostridia, which is found in the human body. When the rats were given this bacteria, their peanut allergies disappeared. This human bacteria in the rat’s gut did away with their food allergies!

Their research led them to REMOVE certain gut bacteria from the mice’s digestive tract, and almost immediately the mice developed food allergies once more. Antibiotics were used to remove the bacteria, and only once they re-introduced the Clostridia bacteria to the mice did their food allergies disappear.

Now, the truth is that it’s very difficult for the doctors to identify just which strain of Clostridia bacteria can be the one to defend against food allergies–or if there even is just ONE.  There are so many types of bacteria floating around the human body that it’s difficult to isolate the most important ones, so a lot of research is left to be done in order to determine which of the Clostridia bacteria will be the one to play a central role in gut health.

However, it’s important to note that antibiotics are linked to food allergies. They may not be DIRECTLY responsible, but the fact that antibiotics can get rid of the Clostridia bacteria means that antibiotics are killing he good bacteria, that can prevent food allergies.

You may be surprised to know that the average human gut contains 2 kilograms of bacteria. 2 kg.!! The number of bacteria normally residing in our gut is more than the number of cells in our body. No wonder, these exert a modulating influence on our immune system and development of allergies.

Remember that many children are given treatments for viral and bacterial infections at a young age, as the increasingly concerned parents of today are resorting to medicinal treatments rather than at-home remedies. This means that children are exposed to antibiotics from a young age, which can in turn lead to the suppression and elimination of the good bacteria of the gut. If this happens, more and more children will develop food allergies.