December 25, 2008

What are allergens?

What are allergens?
Allergens are substances that cause the immune system to trigger and act against itself. Normally, this condition happens when foreign bodies such as bacteria enter the human body.

However, innocent and harmless bodies (proteins) such as pollen, peanuts, milk, penicillin may not be recognized by the immune system and continue to function as a harmful foreign body. Yet, wasps and other insects produce allergens as a defense mechanism.

A food allergy is triggered when natural substance is mistaken for a hostile invader, causing immune systems to mobilize to repel the invader.

Food allergies are mediated by IgE antibodies to protein-a characteristic shared with other allergens such as those present in hay fever (an acute allergic nasal condition) an wasp-sting reactions.

The severity of food allergy symptoms varies from life threatening reactions when exposed to food proteins that are allergens to which they are sensitized, to less severe reactions such as skin irritation and breathing difficulties.

Since no cure is available for food allergies. Avoidance is the only preventive measure available to allergic consumers.
What are allergens?

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