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‘Food intolerance’ may affect half of the United Kingdom

16 October 2009 2,117 views No Comment

Figures released by Allergy UK, a charity set up to help the millions of people who suffer from food sensitivity, estimate that 45 per of the country’s population is affected by the condition.

“There’s been a 10 fold increase in people with food intolerances in the UK in the last 25 years,” said Cyndi O’Meara, an expert nutritionist and author of “Changing Habits, Changing Lives Cook Book.”

“A big part of the problem is that we are assaulting our children with chemicals because the food that we are feeding them isn’t real anymore, it’s just a bunch of food additives, flavourings and colourings.

“If it’s not margarine then it is modified milk, artificial sweeteners, and manmade sugars all of this has been put into the diet over the last 25 years which has resulted in hyper sensitive immune systems that react to everything a person eats.”

Mrs O’Meara claims food intolerance can lead to weight gain and diabetes as a secondary affect.

“If people are eating foods straight out of a chemical laboratory then diabetes and obesity, heart disease and cancer will be a result of these intolerances.” she added.

Scientists blame the stresses of modern life, pollutants and food additives for conspiring to create a rise in cases of sufferers who may develop chronic inflammatory diseases such as Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), migraines, and arthritis.

“There is a great deal of evidence that more people in the UK are suffering from food intolerance than ever before,” said Dr Gill Heart, a clinical biochemist and scientific director with York Test, who provide food intolerance testing kits.

“It has been on the increase for sometime, it’s similar to the rise in people with allergies, although the percentage of people with classical allergies is only about 2.5 per cent whereas food intolerance is 45 per cent.”

Unlike food allergies which produce a swift reaction from the immune system to a specific food which can be life threatening, food intolerance is the result of a much slower reaction to foods we eat, the reaction happens maybe hours or days later, and while not life threatening can make the sufferer feel extremely unwell.

“There are a lot of hypothesis about why food intolerance is on the rise. In the main it is thought that poor soil quality and pollutants, intensive farming, additives to foods and stressful lifestyles are putting stress on you bodies systems like your guts in particular.” said Dr Heart.

“The range of problems that can be caused by food intolerance is very wide. People associate it mainly with things like gut symptoms which are one of the most important symptoms. Things like bloating and IBS and even inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease can all be exasperated by food intolerance.

“However, studies have also linked food intolerance to things like migraines, chronic fatigue, eczema, skin conditions, depression, joint pains and inflammation in general. As it is associated with so many different symptoms people don’t always think that food is the cause.”

The seriousness of the problem being faced by the UK has lead to a number of companies manufacturing foods which are designed to combat the disease. Glasgow-based Lazy Day Foods worked with experts from Glasgow Caledonian University’s knowledge transfer team to promote food that’s nutritious and safe for those with intolerances.

“All of our treats like millionaire shortbread, chocolate fudge cake and chocolate gingers all completely free from gluten, wheat, dairy and egg,” said Dr Sally Beattie, who started the company after her three-year-old son was diagnosed with dairy intolerance.

“We create everything by hand and it’s free from junk. We have had a lot of interest from major supermarkets throughout the UK and we are starting to export to Germany and the United States.

“It’s only right that people with food intolerances can enjoy the occasional treat safe in the knowledge there’s nothing in them that will trigger an adverse reaction.”

source from :www.telegraph.co.uk

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