An allergy is the reaction of one persons body to substances which are normally harmless to other people. These substances are called "allergens". Susceptibility to allergies tends to be hereditary but there is a lot still unknown about allergies in general. With extremists at either end of the scale (Medical doctors refuting there is a problem and alternative therapists insisting almost all ailments are related to food additives and almost everyone is allergic to something) it is important to take a middle ground and inform yourself. Seek out medical doctors and alternative therapists who can give you sound, scientific guidance and diagnosis and who are up to date with current research.
Natural Toxins in Foods
Some toxins or allergens may be the result of man interfering with foods (e.g. pollutants, preservatives, colourings & pesticides). Other toxins which occur naturally in foods may be classified into three main groups:
These are produced by moulds. Their growth depends on environmental conditions. They are usually more likely to develop under moist warm conditions.
These are a type of mycotoxin which is visible and obvious to the naked eye. They are carcinogenic to both man and animals; but contaminated food is obvious and normally discarded.
These are another type of mycotoxin. They grow on grains and are poisonous if ingested in large amounts.
These are chemicals naturally occurring in plants, which may be either toxic to the body; or which may have an undesirable affect upon nutrients being eaten.
These chemicals are produced by algae under certain environmental condition. They may be taken into the body through seafood (which has fed on the contaminated algae). The affects of these toxins can be severe, causing death in extreme situations; though such cases are relatively rare.
Some allergies tend to be suffered at a certain time of year (e.g. in spring when pollen is more profuse). Some suggest that anxiety can trigger food sensitivities and related conditions. Allergic cross-reactivity occurs when a person is not just allergic to one thing, nuts for example, but to many, or all members of a nutrient type, or plant family, so with nut allergies, other legumes.
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