Does the sea hold the solution to your food allergies?

In this day and age, it seems like nearly everyone has some type of food allergy — gluten, dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts. Chances are you’re avoiding one (if not more) of these allergens.

And, if you do have any food allergies, you know that the only apparent solution is to stay away from these foods at all costs, or else face the uncomfortable or even deadly consequences.

But this can get tricky, especially when you’re faced with several food allergies at once and a dwindling list of foods you can actually eat.

If you’re one of the 15 million Americans dealing with this problem, you’ve probably already resigned yourself to a life of difficult and inconvenient food restrictions or uncomfortable allergy-related symptoms. But, you should know, that you don’t have to…

Because there are ways you can diminish, possibly eradicate, your food allergies…

In fact, researchers recently found a promising new solution to food allergies in the sea: edible algae that have anti-allergy and anti-asthmatic properties.

This commercially-available red algae, known as Gracilaria lemaneiformis, can actually counteract the negative effects that food allergens have on your immune system.

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In this most recent study, mice that were given a compound from Gracilaria lemaneiformis, as well as a food allergen compound known to trigger an immune response in their body, experienced less allergy symptoms than mice that weren’t given the algae compound.

But this isn’t the first time that researchers have delved into the therapeutic potential of algae and other seaweeds to solve the problem of food allergies.

In previous studies, researchers identified a type of polysaccharide in certain seaweeds that eased allergy symptoms. And this most recent research confirms that the polysaccharides in Gracilaria lemaneiformis have similar properties and therefore similar benefits.

This is great news for food allergy sufferers because the red algae that researchers studied is actually available for purchase as we speak. And it’s already well-known for its immune-boosting properties, so it’s no surprise that it’s able to help your immune system overcome difficult food allergies as well.

Once you get your hands on some of this red algae and start the fight against your food allergies, you can also try other methods for helping your body overcome allergies…

For example, many chronic food allergy sufferers say that by healing their gut health (and getting rid of a leaky gut) they were able to overcome a long list of food allergies. The best way to restore your gut health is to pump up your probiotic intake through supplements and fermented foods and avoid sugar. So with a bit of red algae, a lot of probiotics and a lot less sugar you could be on your way to a food allergy-free life.

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Sources:
  1. “Food Allergy Basics: Facts and Statistics.” Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). https://www.foodallergy.org. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  2. Qing-Mei Liu et al. “Anti-Food Allergic Activity of Sulfated Polysaccharide fromis Dependent on Immunosuppression and Inhibition of p38 MAPK.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2016).
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.