The concern for a better diet has become one of the main issues today. More and more people are opting for the freshest, most ecological and least processed foods and discover the benefits of healthier and more varied diets.
However, even if you try to maintain a diet as varied and healthy as possible, not all foods feel and are processed in the same way for all people. That is, the processes that take place in the body when taking a food are different depending on the person. These reactions can be, among others, allergies and food intolerances.
In the last 20 years, the number of people suffering from some type of food allergy or intolerance has risen to 520 million worldwide, and it is because society is much more aware of nutrition and its various aspects. But are all food reactions allergies?
Actually, the terms allergy and intolerance have different meanings. Allergy is a reaction or response of the immune system to substances that are generally not harmful to our body, and its causes may have genetic and environmental origin. When an “allergen” is ingested, among the most common nuts, shellfish, fish, eggs …, the immune system responds with a hypersensitive reaction to a protein that has said allergen with symptoms such as rashes, inflammation, hives or burning, developing a great production of histamine.
In some cases, special care must be taken with certain allergies as they can lead to serious reactions such as anaphylaxis, producing an exaggerated response such as tightness and narrowing of the airways, swelling in the throat, rapid pulse and dizziness. If you have any of these symptoms, it should be treated urgently as it can be highly dangerous.
On the other hand, intolerances have a less severe response. Food intolerance is due to an adverse reaction of the body towards certain foods that are not properly digested, metabolized or assimilated. This can occur for different reasons, depending on the type of intolerance. In the case of lactose, it is produced by a deficit in lactase enzymes, responsible for digestion; or in the case of fructose, it is due to a problem in the transport system, responsible for its absorption.
In some cases, eating a food to which we are intolerant can even damage our body, such as gluten. The ingestion of this protein by a person with celiac disease can produce harmful effects on the mucosa of the small intestine, but it can also produce conditions outside the digestive system. But, other times there are food intolerances that may not present symptoms, so people do not know if they suffer from it or not. For example, you can be gluten intolerant and not celiac.
It is important to take into account the genetic component, since it can represent even up to 75% the predisposition to develop many of the alterations in the metabolism of nutrients. With the nutritional genetic test, NUTRIFIT, it is possible to study the most frequent intolerances such as lactose, fructose and gluten, mentioned previously; histamine and vitamins A, B2, B6, B9, B12, C, D and E. In addition, they help provide solutions by recommending special diets to improve nutritional deficits.