Thanks for allergies?



Here is another news item that supports the idea that allergies are “a blessing in disguise.“ It may provide protection against a type of brain tumor.

Glioma is “the most common form of primary brain tumors, which start in the brain or spinal cord.” Gliomas may be high- or low-grade tumors.

Here are some findings of a research study by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The more, the better

It seems that the more allergies you have, the better is your protection.

In fact, patients who had more types of allergies — seasonal, medication, pet, food, and other — had even lower odds of glioma, with an 11% reduction for those with allergies in one category and a 64% reduction for those with allergies in four or more categories.”

This is not the first time that research placed allergies in a whole new – and positive –light. Previous studies have indicated the reverse relationship between allergies and cancer risk. Other studies reported that asthma (a form of allergy) may also have some protective properties.

The current research looked at 419 patients with glioma and compared them with 612 control patients without brain tumor. Of those with glioma, 344 were high-grade and 75 low-grade. The presence of allergies was based on allergy diagnosis but also on their actual use of antihistamines which are medications commonly used for allergies.

“After adjustment for age, race, gender, education, and site, patients with both high- and low-grade glioma were less likely to report having any allergy than the controls.”

So why are allergies indicative of low brain rumor incidence and risk? The scientists believe that those with allergies have an immune system with “enhanced surveillance.” The superactive immune system may actually limit abnormal growth of cells that lead to cancer.

However, more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

In the meantime, we can cautiously say “Thank God for allergies!”

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