Chemicals in food and allergy: fact and fiction

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The prevalence of the atopic diseases asthma, rhinitis and atopic eczema has increased in the past two to three decades. It is not unusual to read the statement that food additives and other chemicals in food increase the risk of allergy. From a theoretical standpoint chemicals in the diet may influence allergic sensitization and elicitation in different ways: (i) they may directly cause allergy because they are allergens or haptens; (ii) they may act as adjuvants facilitating allergy to other (dietary) components; (iii) they may modulate the immune system by direct immunotoxicity and in theory be able ta change the balance from tolerance to IgE production; and (iv) they may trigger non-allergic intolerance reactions. With the present knowledge of chemicals in foods, the human exposure to these chemicals, and the described trends in this exposure, there is no supportive evidence confirming that chemicals in foods are contributing to the reported increase in the prevalence of atopic diseases. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)115-120
Publication statusPublished - 1997
EventScientific Symposium on Chemical Exposure and Food Allergy/Intolerance - OSLO, NORWAY
Duration: 1 Jan 1996 → …


ConferenceScientific Symposium on Chemical Exposure and Food Allergy/Intolerance
Period01/01/1996 → …


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