By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is an interesting look at allergies in the journal Nature.

An article on the origin of allergic responses challenges conventional views that allergy is due to our immune response going out of control. Instead, they argue that allergic responses are excessive or exaggerated responses to protect from environmental toxins.

The authors suggest that allergic immunity evolved as a defense mechanism against threatening environmental factors such as venoms, natural toxins and irritants. They note that reactions such as sneezing and itching seem to be used to reduce exposure and promote expulsion of unwanted substances, although these actions can become detrimental when excessive.

It is a great way to look at allergies. My feeling is that there is truth to this but the real truth is probably a hybrid..a little bit of one and the other.

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