Allergy Planet

Allergy PlanetWe are in the grip of an allergy epidemic. 50 years ago one in 30 were affected, but in Britain today it is closer to one in three.

Why this should be is one of modern medicine's greatest puzzles.

In search of answers, Horizon travels round the globe, from the remotest inhabited island to the polluted centres of California and the UK.

We meet sufferers and the scientists who have dedicated their lives trying to answer the mystery of why we are becoming allergic to our world.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 48 minutes)

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Ratings: 6.89/10 from 9 users.
  • Sieben Stern

    it has to be genes + air pollution.

    i feel for the olveras (sp) - my dad has lived in a city with bad air pollution for a long time, and the older he gets the worse his breathing gets, to spite the fact that he is not asthmatic, nor smokes. he now needs an inhaler and coughs constantly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arnold-Vinette/100000991429638 Arnold Vinette

    This was a very interesting documentary. It caught my attention because as a child I was allergic to horses, cats, grasses and house dust. My mother like all mothers was very concerned, took me to the allergy doctor had me tested and found all of things I was allergic too. Then for the next 2 or 3 years I would have allergy shots once a week to boost my immunity.

    It must have worked because today I have no allergies at all. None. I don't even get sick and can't even remember the last time I was sick.

    Upon watching the program I agree that there are many different conditions that will induce allergies and asthma from genetics to air pollution to rare disorders.

    I have lived all over North America and felt for the family living in Los Angeles next to the freeway and oil refinery. They are living in a toxic situation with regards to air quality.

    The air surrounding oil refineries is filled with toxins from the evaporation process. And living next to the freeway is filled with car exhaust fumes.

    Recently I have moved back to Ottawa, Canada from the San Francisco Bay area and the Las Vegas area and all I can tell you is how much cleaner the air is in the Ottawa area. The effect is really noticeable.

    The skies are a more brilliant blue on a sunny day and the air tastes clean.

    Environment plays a big part in health and being able to breath properly.

    Another aspect of this documentary I thought was interesting was that taking more frequent baths may cause a skin to be too clean allowing for allergies and asthma. Younger kids will love these findings. NO BATH tonight it is dangerous for your health!

    And the house mites in Africa another interesting correlation for potential problems.

    With regards to the remote island people and their asthma problem, the first problem I thought about for them is inbreeding causing the genetic problem and making it worse.

    One possible solution for the island population is to advertise for people not from the island and without asthma to diversify their gene pool. With only 266 people on the island there is a great danger here of inbreeding. Over time this would diversify the island gene pool while still keeping the island population at a comfortable level. However parents would have to be comfortable with the fact their their offspring are NOT a mix of both of their genes, but rather that of one of them and a stranger.

    With regards to air population caused by cars and trucks, this problem should be self correcting in the next 20 years. There are only 20 years left of oil supplies around the world to maintain our current oil based civilizations and so by 2030 there will be significantly fewer gasoline powered cars on the road.

    This is one positive aspect to Worldwide Peak Oil. Once oil reserves run out across the world, oil refining will stop. The air will slowly become cleaner again. It should be a nice change.

  • http://profiles.google.com/studiogetz ionut petrescu

    uk is not the world.... just to let you know...

  • nelly0042

    And the description indicates that the documentary spans the globe. Just to let you know.

  • http://gothicburlesque.blogspot.com/ Hexotica

    I learned a lot about my allergies from this doco. I was a little disappointed that they did not cover how many children have been 'cured' of asthma by simply eliminating food additives and preservatives from their diets, as my own niece was. I suffer from hay fever so I know that there are many causes to the problem, but I suffer much less when I eat less processed foods...

  • ausirez

    the key to coping with allergies and food intolerance intolerance lies
    in understanding the immune, and its inability to function optimally when
    the body is burdened with varieties of toxins-Dr.Max Gerson used the <Gerson therapy to cure himself from severe allergy with live food diet.

  • jacklinfernandis

    There are so many different types of allergies. On planet most of people suffering from allergy. I have allergy of dust. So I always wearing mask when go to outside home.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X2XQEL7NL5UZUIS745XYDMMPDE mikey

    intresting documentary about allergies.I didnt know that they are becomming so common.Though with our toxic world it makes sense.

    It seems to me that there are so many substances that trigger allergies that it has to be treated systemically. In other words, for some it might be dogs, for others partially a genetic pre disposition, others pollutants in the air, why not look at the whole problem and decide that these factors are not a problem in the general population at large. Since these factors are not a problem in general why not cleanse the affected individuals from the offending toxins. Not by removing the toxins externally(treating the symptoms) as in many cases like mcs(multiple chemical s.) its impratical, but by cleaning up ones bodys systems(the cause).If one cleanses the bowels, liver, and blood stream they then cleanse the offending toxins from the body.Secondly, removing the most toxic substances that are possible to remove from food(pesticides, milk..the most alergenic food, soy the second), air(air purifier), and water(filter) then the individual's own detoxifying organs may be able to detoxify exposure with the surrounding enviroment with out having symptoms.

  • knowledgeizpower

    Great doc.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K7FXKWOE6J55IVWOPVG4UAQV4A sam

    strange that they mention the change in our evolution vs environment, but they don't mention one other thing... in the past, those with severe allergies in those other environments would have just died. They would have died quite often without passing on their genetic makeup to offspring. Now we intervene and save lives... so, at one point being allergic would have probably been a factor to remove people from the gene pool and now it isn't. If more survive and reproduce, the trait or condition survives.

  • Karmiccontrail

    So we need a more natural life , simple living , the life that is preached by Krishna ,a life that will take us back to the Spiritual worlds where we belong and will not suffer any more .

    It is an obvious choice .Chant ,

    HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE
    HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

    SAM :Good point . There is no such thing as evolution thats why, so that just leaves karmic reactions to peoples actions in the environment.

  • ADAM ADAMON

    The best way helping prevent developing an over reactive immune system and developing allergies and other hypersensitive immune disorders are rejecting much of the modern way of life and trends. These include.

    1) Being born by natural birth and no caesarean births(with caesarean birth the digestive system of the baby does not get colonised at the same rate by bacteria, which help regulate the immune system, therefore higher risk of developing allergies. Studies have shown that people born by caesarean birth have higher rates of allergies)
    2) Not using antibiotics(antibiotics destroy and lead to an imbalance to the immune regulating bacteria in the intestine, which can lead to allergies. During an infection, the immune response is a very complex process in which the immune system is activated and once the infection has passed is down regulated. Antibiotics disrupt this process).
    3) Avoiding certain vaccines. Vaccines have changed a lot in the last 50 years and not in a good way. Vaccines are being developed and changed without the negative effects being adequately studied. The triple antigen vaccine(pertusis, diphtheria tetanus) has been shown to increase the risk of asthma and allergies by the way it alters the immune response. People who have this vaccine have up to around a 20% increased risk of developing allergies and asthma.
    4) Having certain childhood transitional illnesses like measles and chicken pox. These diseases were once a common occurrence and have been shown to alter the immune system in which there is a decreased risk of developing allergies and asthma later in life. Now people are vaccinated against these diseases.
    5) Being a host to certain intestinal parasites like hookworms. Despite common myth and paranoia, hookworms are not a parasite, nor do they cause people to die directly. It’s malnourishment which causes these problems or inadequate nutritional intake. A woman who has monthly period loses more blood than hookworms consume. Hookworms are symbiotic organism which through millions of years of evolution has evolved to live in humans. In some people there immune systems work in such a way where they need to be host to hookworms in order to help regulate the immune system. Hookworms now are being used to treat range of immune disorders like allergies, crohns disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis with a success rate up to 80%.
    6) Also avoiding the the use of disinfectants at home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294050577 Liz Estrada

    There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic. Genes change slowly, environment has changed very quickly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=625004581 Alexander Douglas Miller

    One suggestion in a plant journal, was that city councils tended to favour planting of male trees rather than female trees, due to the lack of mess from seed pods. Of course the downside of male trees is that they tend to spew out pollen which could potentially trigger an allergy (to pollen or perhaps arouse the immune system and cause it to overreact to other potential allergens). I don't know if this can be substantiated however, but it was an intriguing suggestion, since it could theoretically explain the widespread distribution of allergies and be right under our noses, so to speak.

  • prodigygirl

    are we sure we have more allergies? maybe before we didn't pay as much attention as nowadays to the allergies. I think that lactose or peanut allergies exist for a long time. however as for asthma or other itching it may be because of the air we breathe which are too much polluted