Food allergies also leave animals suffering, says study

91a1133c-5685-45a0-9bf2-d9299999edeearticleimage.jpg

24 Aug 2017 --- Humans are not the only ones to suffer from food intolerance and allergy symptoms like swelling in the face or an asthma attack. Other animals, such as cats, dogs and horses, are affected after feeding as well, according to a new study by the Messerli Research Institute, a cooperation between the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna. In fact, the number of pets affected by food allergies and intolerances has even converged with that of humans.

The institute has now condensed the knowledge about human and animal food allergies and intolerances into a new European position paper. The paper highlights the strong similarities in animal and human symptoms and triggers of adverse food reactions. The publication also stresses the importance of more comparative studies on the mechanisms and the diagnosis of food intolerance, and on formulating adequate measures.

Overlap in symptoms and triggers
“Not only humans but basically all mammals are susceptible to developing allergies, as their immune system is capable of producing immunoglobulin E,” explains lead author Isabella Pali-Schöll. Normally, these special antibodies help defend parasites or viruses. They are also responsible for type I allergy symptoms, which are the most well-known and immediately-occurring symptoms and include hay fever, allergic asthma and anaphylactic shock. In the field of nutrition, there are also very common non-immunologic forms of food intolerance, like lactose and alcohol intolerance, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna notes.

The position paper, primarily written by Pali-Schöll and Erika Jensen-Jarolim, shows that the symptoms of food intolerance are similar in both animals and humans. One difference, however, is that in the case of dogs, cats or horses, the adverse reactions mostly affect the skin, followed by the gastrointestinal tract. “Asthma or severe shock reactions have rarely been observed in animals,” notes Pali-Schöll.

There are even overlaps in the triggers of immune responses to certain foods and ingredients. Pets may suffer from both lactose intolerance and outright milk protein allergies. Some mammals also have allergic reactions to certain proteins in wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, eggs and meat.

Underdeveloped allergy diagnostics
Precise knowledge about the active molecules of the allergens helps assess the risks of severe reactions, especially with food allergies. Many of these allergenic molecules that affect humans have been identified and are already used in diagnostics like the allergen microchip test. As far as animals are concerned, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna says there is still a big need for research.

Similarly, a precise and comprehensive diagnosis is essential for establishing adequate measures against food intolerance. But many mechanisms and triggers for animals have not been sufficiently researched, in part because some test samples or substances are not even available.

Avoiding allergens remains best option
A so-called elimination diet is a prerequisite for correctly diagnosing both animals and humans, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna notes. This regimen means removing all sources of protein from an animal's diet. “During this period of diagnosis, the animal will be fed homemade food or diet food prescribed by a veterinarian. Only then, and if there have not been any dangerous allergic reactions before, can ‘normal’ food be gradually reintroduced,” advises nutrition scientist Pali-Schöll. With this diagnostic procedure, the allergen-free diet can be tailored to the food intolerance of the animal or human while also avoiding unnecessary restrictions.

A thorough comparison of adverse food reactions in humans and animals offers insight into the risk factors for the development of the condition, and can thus lead to improved recommendations for the prevention and treatment of adverse food reactions in animals and humans, the university’s press release points out.

At the moment there are no therapies for humans and animals, but many new variants of immunotherapy have entered trial phase. “As for the so-called sublingual and epicutaneous immunotherapy, which is treatment under the tongue or on the skin, respectively, the first few trial phases have already achieved some success. But it will take several more years for any products to see market launch and standard application,” says Pali-Schöll.

The European position paper, “Comparing immediate-type food allergy in humans and companion animals – revealing unmet needs,” was published in the Allergy journal and can be found here.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Researchers create app to predict and intervene in users' overeating

13 Dec 2017 --- Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the University of Connecticut (UConn) are collaborating on a smartphone app aimed at helping users manage their overeating challenges in three key ways: by tracking eating patterns, providing interventions and helping change behavior. According to the researchers, the app and its distinctive methodology have shown “tremendous promise” in an early pilot study.

Nutrition & Health News

Relief from food allergies may come from antibody drug and food desensitization

12 Dec 2017 --- A clinical trial of 48 children with multiple food allergies which tested antibody drug omalizumab alongside food desensitization treatment resulted in more effective allergy relief compared to placebo, according to a study published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology journal.

Nutrition & Health News

Mood food: Diet differentially affects mental health in young and mature adults

12 Dec 2017 --- Diet and dietary practices have a differential effect on mental health in young adults versus older adults, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. The researchers involved have found that young adults appear to be dependent on food that increases availability of neurotransmitter precursors and concentrations in the brain (meat), while the mood in mature adults (over 30 years) may be more reliant on food that increases availability of antioxidants (fruits) and abstinence of food that inappropriately activates the sympathetic nervous system (coffee, high glycemic index and skipping breakfast).

Nutrition & Health News

EVNol Tocotrienol may beat omeprazole in controlling gastric issues

12 Dec 2017 --- ExcelVite’s EVNol tocotrienol was found to be more effective in treating gastric growth factors in stress-exposed rats than omeprazole, a common medication used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. This is according to a recently published study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology that suggests more investigation is warranted.
 

Business News

Nutrition 21 launches US media campaign to support Velositol ingredient

11 Dec 2017 --- Nutrition 21, LLC has partnered with NYC-based media relations firm Pitch Publicity and clinical pharmacist James B. LaValle in a national media tour dedicated to educating consumers about the benefits of its proprietary ingredient, Velositol.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/food-allergies-also-leave-animals-suffering-says-study.html