Scientists seem to be getting closer to solving the mystery of why there is an increasing amount of people with food allergies in the developed world.
Could it be that our water is the culprit? New research points to chlorinated water and the increased use of pesticides, weed controls and household products that use dichlorophenols as an active ingredient.
Dichlorophenols are a byproduct of chlorine and are commonly used in pesticides and household products. Researchers have found that people with high levels of it in their bodies are up to 80% more likely to have food allergies.
There has been an increase in food allergies among our children as well. 4 percent of children suffer. Some common foods that cause allergic reactions are cow’s milk, wheat, soya, eggs, celery, kiwi fruit and other fruits and vegetables.
In Britain, where food allergies are also on the rise, water may not be the culprit. British researchers maintain that although dichlorophenols are used to treat drinking water, regulations are much stricter than in the US. Researchers in Britain suspect other sources of dichlorophenols such as triclosan, an anti-bacterial used in lipsticks, face washes, toothpaste and kitchen utensils. When broken down, triclosan can form dichlorophenols.
This link comes as no surprise to me. A couple of years ago I was intrigued to learn that food allergies and some common auto-immune diseases such as colitis, Chrohn's disease, asthma and MS are rare or unknown in the undeveloped world. Recent studies linked intestinal parasites, that are common in people in the third world, to the lack of these diseases. Or more accurately, the lack of parasites in people of the developed world are linked to food allergies, asthma and other auto-immune diseases. It only makes sense that water treatment and products designed to kill bacteria and germs would also be effective on good microbes and parasites that keep our bodies healthy.
The discovery of the link between parasites and disease has led to a whole new industry of "parasite therapy." People have actually cured themselves by traveling to Africa and walking barefoot around latrines or flying to Thailand to have parasites transferred from the feces of a donor to the patient. It might make one squirm at the thought, but if it works, I'd give it a try.
If you live in a city or town and use municipal water, your water is most likely treated with chlorine. Drinking chlorinated tap water is risky business. The good news is that there are many great products out there that will remove chlorine from your water. At Highwater Filters, we have a variety of countertop and under counter systems to keep your water safe. You can check them out here.
Drinking tap water isn't the only way to become contaminated with chlorine. Bathing and showering in chlorinated water is suspect as well. Skin absorbs chemicals and chlorine is no exception. If you want to reduce your exposure, Rainshow'r makes some great products for your shower and bath to remove harmful chemicals.
Read more about the chlorine/food allergies link here.
Read more about parasite therapy here.
Thanks for reading!