“Undoubtedly, the most important thing is to focus on understanding the impact of vaccination on the development of childhood food allergies and autoimmune diseases. We should be paying attention to the “red flags” that adverse reactions clearly represent.”
Childhood food allergies have become very common in the last couple of years and their rate has been constantly increasing. According to the non-profit organization Food Allergy Research and Education, researchers estimate that 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies. Approximately 9 million adults and 6 million children have food allergies.
Also autoimmune diseases have become increasingly common in the high-income countries over the past several decades, and now affect an estimated 5—10% of the population in those countries. Autoimmune disease means that the body’s immune responses get misdirected against itself. Environmental factors such as drugs, chemicals or vaccines are strongly to blame for the rise in autoimmune disorders and are a biologically probable trigger though these are not the only reasons.
As with many chronic health problems, scientists are still unable to identify the cause and as a result we do not have a clear answer on the cause of food allergies and autoimmune diseases. As we mentioned in part 1 of this series, the rising prevalence of allergies is definitely a complex problem that cannot be traced back to one particular cause.
There are many possible reasons for this extreme rise in numbers of food allergies. One of them is the fact that we have become too clean (the “hygiene hypothesis”). Researchers at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found that infants are much less likely to suffer from allergies if they’re exposed to household bacteria and allergens from rodents, cockroaches and cats during their first year of life. An environment that is too clean promotes allergies and asthma because there’s not enough exposure to various bacteria and allergens in early life. This leads to a less healthy microbiome, the body’s collection of friendly bacteria. The too-clean environment is not the only reason though. Researchers suggest that early antibiotic use changes the bacterial flora, which impacts the development of allergic diseases such as asthma.”
Another contributing factor to food allergies and autoimmune diseases—besides the environment and antibiotics—could be vaccination. Despite the fact that many researches in the past demonstrated an association between vaccine ingredients and development of food allergies, the current ones seem to tend towards the assumption that vaccines are good.
How do autoimmune diseases really “work”?
The pathogenic hallmark of autoimmune disease is the production of proteins called autoantibodies, whereby the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs, tissues and cells instead of fighting external pathogens. Vaccines can prompt autoantibody production through a mechanism called “molecular mimicry.” Significant similarities between the pathogenic antigens contained in a vaccine and human proteins in the person receiving the vaccine can lead to immune “cross-reactivity” and “evolve into an autoimmune process targeting the…self-proteins.”
Although researches haven’t consistently proven the link between vaccination and allergies or autoimmune diseases, according to a recent study Vaccination and autoimmune diseases: is prevention of adverse health effects on the horizon? Various autoimmune disorders occurred following vaccination:
Molecular mimicry and bystander activation are reported as possible mechanisms by which vaccines can cause autoimmune reactions. The individuals who might be susceptible to develop these reactions could be those with previous post-vaccination phenomena and those with allergies but also in individuals who are prone to develop autoimmune diseases, such as those with a family history of autoimmunity or with known autoantibodies, and the genetic predisposed individuals.
Another factor to consider, a mother’s immunity passes to the baby through the placenta known as passive immunity, and may be strengthened by vaginal birth, this is dependent on the mother’s immunity and may last for 2 months or more. The natural immunity could be lengthened when the infant is breastfed; the milk contains antibodies that help with natural immune development, because of this natural development some researches recommend vaccinations not be started till the baby is 3 months old.
Undoubtedly, the most important thing is to focus on understanding the impact of vaccination on the development of childhood food allergies and autoimmune diseases. Instead of trying to bury adverse events as inconvenient to the monolithic vaccine safety narrative, we should be paying attention to the “red flags” that adverse reactions clearly represent.
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- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2019. Increasing Rates of Allergies and Asthma. ttps://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/prevalence-of-allergies-and-asthma
- Children’s Health Defense Team. 2018. Molecular Mimicry—Understanding the Link between Vaccines and Autoimmune Disease.
- Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. 2014. Newborns Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Germs May Have Lower Allergy and Asthma Risk.
- Rishma Parpia. 2017. Vaccination and the Growing Rates of Childhood Food Allergies.
- Amy Shah, M.D. Why Allergies & Autoimmune Diseases Are Skyrocketing.
- Maria Vadalà et al. 2017. Vaccination and autoimmune diseases: is prevention of adverse health effects on the horizon?
 Food Allergy Research and Education. Facts and Statistics. FoodAllergy.org.
 Newborns Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Germs May Have Lower Allergy and Asthma Risk. 2014.
 AAAAI. 2019.
 Children’s Health Defense Team. 2018.
 Maria Vadalà et al. 2017.