Could Having Allergies Mean Better Overall Health?
There are many people who suffer on a daily basis from a wide range of allergies and there is generally a good range of treatments available which enable someone to get on with their life as normally as possible without being affected.
An interesting recent development has been the announcement that a study looking at allergy sufferers suggested that there may be a link between allergies and a reduced risk of brain tumors.
Gender specific risk profile
The results of this study were published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the implication is that people who suffer from allergies may have a reduced risk of developing a serious type of cancer that develops in the brain, compared to people who do not suffer from allergies.
The study also found that the incidence of reduced risk were higher amongst women than men when it came to this specific cancer, however men were found to have a lower tumor risk when they were known to suffer from certain specific allergies.
The immune system's response to allergens
Scientists continue to develop new strategies and learn how to treat allergies and during these studies they also found a potential reason why people who suffer from allergies may have a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
Tumors known as glioma interfere with the hypersensitive immune response to allergens and, meaning they have the ability to suppress the immune system in order to grow. Experts were previously unsure whether the allergies lowered the risk of cancer or whether the tumors interfered with the immune system.
The scientists looked at stored blood samples taken from patients many years before they were diagnosed with glioma and found that there was a 50% reduction in the level of risk of developing glioma in later years for men and women who had allergy-related antibodies in their blood samples, compared to people who did not have any signs of allergies.
If someone has had allergies for at least 10 years or more before a glioma diagnosis, it would appear that there is less chance of the tumor suppressing these allergies, suggesting that antibodies or some aspect of the allergy is helping to reduce the risk of a tumor developing.
The research work would seem to suggest that the immune system of people, specifically with respiratory allergies, helps to fight against this type of cancer.
Research is ongoing but one area where scientists still cannot offer a specific answer is why there is a gender specific difference in the effects and results. There is a definite difference in the results relating to allergen-specific igE between men and women but at present, scientists are unable to explain the reason for this.
Despite the treatments available, allergies are often difficult to live with, but it is certainly an interesting thought that having allergies could actually lead to a reduced risk of cancer and potentially better overall health as a result of how your body reacts and defends itself.
Anthony Jensen has researched health issues for many years. He enjoys analyzing new scientific finding in the health industry.