23andMe Explains the Genetics of Allergies

23andMe highlighted two studies that might explain why some people suffer from allergies every spring. The studies found information about allergies that may surprise you!

According to the Mayo Clinic, an allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When you’re exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that can cause allergy symptoms.

23andMe states that susceptibility to allergies – not just from pollen but also to other things such as insect bites, dander from dogs and cats, or mold – is in part genetic. A person’s environment also plays a role in developing allergies. 23andMe scientists and their collaborators have have identified may genetic variants associated with allergies over the years.

A study that was published in February of 2021, states that human-caused climate change could impact respiratory health, including asthma and allergies, through temperature-driven increased in airborne pollen. But, the long-term continental pollen trends and role of climate change in pollen patterns are not well-understood.

The researchers measured pollen trends across North America from 1990 to 2018, and found an increase in pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons. This indicates that human-caused climate change has already worsened North American pollen seasons and climate-driven pollen trends are likely to further exacerbate respiratory health impacts in coming decades.

Another study found that wearing face masks helps to lessen allergy symptoms in some people. It is interesting that the prevalence of wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic is what made this discovery possible.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

Your Neanderthal Ancestors Gave You Allergies

Another Study Adds Weight To The “Hygiene Hypothesis”

Ancestry Released Update On Their COVID-19 Study

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