Allergies: Separating Fact from Fiction – gluten, dairy & genetics

Could gluten and dairy be behind your sniffles and sneezes? Are allergies genetic?

Let’s take a look and see what you can do.

If you are just now joining us for the Allergy Series, you may want to go back and read:

1. Should I cut out gluten during allergy season?

If you really want to calm your body’s allergic response, cutting out gluten is a good place to start.

Gluten, the protein in wheat, is a pro-inflammatory food that can damage the gut lining and lead to or exacerbate leaky gut syndrome. The gut lining has two main functions:

  1. it absorbs nutrients from food
  2. it acts as a protective barrier (keeps toxins and undigested food particles from entering the bloodstream)

A leaky gut allows (leaks) particles of gluten and other undesirables into the bloodstream. This causes the immune system to go haywire.

Ditch the wheat during allergy season and load up on anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fish, chicken broth, greens, pineapple and turmeric.

2. Does dairy make allergies worse?

Dairy products are known to promote excess mucous production. Many of my patients notice a significant improvement in their symptoms when they cut dairy out of their diets!

The dairy-mucous effect can be especially bad if following 3 factors are present:

  1. the gut is leaky
  2. the body’s tissues are inflamed
  3. the milk is A1 variety1

What is A1 milk?

Beta casein is one of the most abundant proteins in milk and there are 12 genetic variations – A1 and A2 are the most common.  When A1 beta casein is digested (from either raw or pasteurized milk), the body produces the exorphin Beta-casomorphin-7(BCM7).

“BCM7 is suggested to be associated as a risk factor for human health hazards as it can potentially affect numerous opioid receptors in the nervous, endocrine and immune system.”2

The vast majority of farms don’t yet screen their cows to see if they are producing A1 or A2 milk.

Whether you are consuming A1 or A2 dairy products, consider taking a break during allergy season. Get your calcium from salmon, broccoli and dark leafy greens. Seek out non-dairy sources of healthy bacteria such as probiotic capsules, water kefir and sauerkraut.

3. Can allergies be genetic?

Yes, there is a genetic component to allergies. If one parent has an allergy of any kind, chances are 1 in 3 that their child will also develop allergies. The odds climb to 7 in 10 if both parents have allergies.3

But just because mom or dad suffers from allergies doesn’t mean that you can’t break the cycle!

What else runs in the family? Digestive problems? A weak immune system?

 Find out what is at the root of your allergies. Target these weaknesses and you will see a significant improvement in your symptoms. Review my top 5 juicing foods for allergy season. Juice these foods for a super healing infusion, and eat them too!

Next week I will help you stock your allergy medicine cabinet!

1. Bartley J, McGlashan SR. Does milk increase mucus production? 2010 Apr;74(4):732-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.10.044. Epub 2009 Nov 25. source

2. Monika Sodhi, Manishi Mukesh, Ranjit S. Kataria, Bishnu P. Mishra, and Balwinder K. Joshii. Milk proteins and human health: A1/A2 milk hypothesis. 2012 Sep-Oct; 16(5): 856. source

3.Asthma and Allergy Association of America. Allergy Facts and Figures.