Allergies and DNA


Strawberries, pollen, chocolate, and even a jackhammer, lawnmower or bumpy bus ride can cause hives, hashes or headaches in some people. These people have an allergic reaction.


Genes en allergies

The cause of this allergic reaction has long been a mystery. Now scientists found out the cause lies partially in our genes. A mutation in the genes can cause allergic reactions. There is still more research to be done to get clear how it works and whether it might be prevented in the future.

In addition to the influence of genes, other issues also play a role, such as the microbiome and the interaction between the microbiome and the immune system. The microbiome consists of all the microorganisms that you carry, plus the genetic material that they carry with them. Most of this consists of bacteria. These bacteria often have a function for the body or the immune system.

Scientists have found that individuals with allergic reactions, when exposed to vibrations, have a mutation in the gene ADGRE2. This gene is associated with an increased immune response. The ADGRE2 gene is responsible for a protein, which regulates the immune system in most of the cells. Normally, this protein has its own place in the cell, but due to the mutation, the protein does not fit properly in the cell. The vibrations can cause a piece of the protein to break off. Now the body thinks there is a parasite trying to enter the body… and the body reacts.


Het usefulness of allergies

Originally, allergic reactions were intended to keep the body free from parasites and viruses. Nowadays we live much cleaner and thus with less threat of parasites. Because there are fewer parasites to keep out of the body, the body is more and more focusing on the less harmful proteins. The forms of these proteins are similar to that of the parasites so that they will be “attacked” by the body. There are other theories about the appearance of allergic reactions and there is much more research necessary to find the causes of allergic reactions in order to find better treatments. Omnigen conducts research on allergies and their causes, in order to reduce the unpleasant consequences.

Do you want to know more? Read the full article.


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