This is the sixth in a series of posts answering the question: “Why has there been such an astronomical rise in childhood allergies?”
This theory may surprise you. It says that the hygiene practices we have today contribute to food allergies. Sounds strange, right? Isn’t it good that we are so sanitary today, using hand sanitizers all the time, sterilizing every surface? Well, it may not be the best idea. Here’s why:
The theory says that the immune system needs something to do. Without the hand sanitizers, our immune system worked to produce antibodies to all of those ‘germs’ we’re all so afraid of. Now, the system is idle so it begins to create antibodies to more common items, hence food allergies.
On some levels, this theory makes sense. And there are a couple of other points you should be aware of.
One is that all that hand sanitizing isn’t good for us. It prevents our bodies from developing antibodies to bacteria and viruses. Those antibodies would give us immunity so that upon subsequent exposure, we could fight them off.
Second, and more important if you have food allergies, is this: Cleaning your hands with a hand sanitizer will not remove food allergens from your hands. Hand sanitizer may kill the bacteria and viruses, but it doesn’t remove anything from the hand. So when dealing with food allergies, nothing replaces good old soap & water!
Next up in the series – vitamin D’s role in allergies.
This is the sixth in a series of blog posts answering the question: “Why has there been such an astronomical rise in childhood allergies?” To view other posts: