Is This the Cure for Allergies?

One single genetic glitch may be to blame

by: Alex Thom

An article on HealthlineNews today announced that researchers at Johns Hopkins may have narrowed down the root cause of all environmental and food allergies. I don't usually get excited over scientific news, but this gave me goosebumps! Can you imagine, essentially find the treasure map that could lead scientists to a cure for childhood allergies?

The thought is that a signaling molecule called transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) "kick-starts immune responses if it sends signals incorrectly." In theory, correcting that wrong signal could basically cure someone of allergies. TGFβ affects regulatory cells (called "T cells") that normally tell the body things are safe (things like food, for example). Studies seem to point to low TGFβ levels being related to overreaction to allergens, and if results from studies in mice are correct, scientists could be in the process of identifying the cause of, and therefore leading the way to a cure for allergies.

Study author Harry Dietz, M.D., a professor of medicine and genetics at Johns Hopkins told Healthline: “It was interesting to learn that an alteration in a single pathway in people lead to such diverse allergic phenotypes, including asthma, food allergy, eczema, and...gastrointestinal disease."

Imagine the possibilities! This is definitely work I'll be keeping an eye on, how about you?