A food allergic reaction occurs as a result of some component of the immune system, which normally protects us from infectious agents, inappropriately reacting to the proteins in foods we eat.
Food allergic diseases usually occur in the first decade of life and are directly linked to the maturation of the immune system.
In general, clinical symptoms are not detected at birth and although the production of IgE starts in the eleventh week of gestation, no specific sensitization to food allergens can be detected in cord blood.
During the first months of life initial IgE responses to food proteins, particularly hen’s egg and cow’s milk may be observed even in exclusively breast-fed infants.
In such individuals, it is proposed that exposure occurs through proteins in their mother’s milk. You can visit https://www.lic.co.nz/products-and-services/automation/protrack-scc/ to know more about diseases in cows.
Allergic reactions to foods can be broadly divided into immediate on-set and delayed on-set reactions.
IgE-Mediated Food Allergies
The parts of the immune system responsible for immediate on-set reactions (the most dramatic example of which is food anaphylaxis) are IgE antibodies.
In allergic individuals (who are sometimes referred to as being “atopic”) eating certain food proteins (such as whey and casein protein contained in cow’s milk) results in the production of specific IgE antibody molecules directed against the protein.
The second time the individual eats the food, these specific IgE molecules interact with each other, and the protein, to cause the release of harmful chemicals (such as histamine) from special mast cells.
This causes the damage associated with the symptoms of food allergy. Damage may occur to the skin, respiratory system or gastrointestinal tract, where the symptoms of food allergy are almost exclusively seen.