Are Allergies Good?

Every spring and beautiful blooming trees send thousands of pollen-allergy sufferers into agony of sneezing. Watery eyes, clogged sinuses, leaking nose, they are horrible nuisances usually treated with allergy medicine and avoiding going out at all. But, it seems that the sneezing attacks and other manifestations of allergic reactions are our body’s way of telling us something: with every sneeze, we lower our risk of various cancers.

This theory of the role of allergic reactions, food intolerances and other ways body expels toxins is the product of a life-long study of Margie Profet, an evolutionary biologist who received in 1993 the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” .

Although Margie Profet is not the only one looking into links between body’s allergic reaction and lower risk of cancer, she started the trend of investigating the link between allergies and cancers. In a large Danish study, scientists found the link between contact allergies (allergies to one or more chemicals or metals) and decreased incidence of skin cancer.

Food intolerances, one type of food allergies, have been linked to the body’s way of getting rid of parasitic worms.

This new way of looking at allergies has a name: immunosurveillance hypothesis. It is the idea that our body’s immune system monitors and is able to detect cancer cells when they start forming and acts to destroy them.



There is apparently a lot about our immune system that is not well known and more research is needed. It evidently works behind the scenes to protect us, and if we have to suffer some sneezing and watery eyes in the process, we can take it.


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