28 May 2010

"Hypersensitive Immune System"?

Our good friend Kris, in Australia, posted a link to a fascinating article that indicates people (like me) with severe allergies and asthma have a statistically significant reduced rate of various and sundry cancers. WTF? Is it possible that a lifetime of breathing problems (that almost killed me at least twice) might afford me some kind of protection?


According to the article, which you can read here, people with severe allergies and asthma have hypersensitive immune systems that react to all kinds of things that don't bother the usual person. These reactions somehow protect us from cancers and toxins.

I'm not sure I buy the connection offered in the article -- that we sneeze out cancer-causing toxins. So many cancers are genetic and not environmental that I don't see how the act of sneezing helps. Rather, I think there is something on a genetic level that is either turned on or off that makes or prevents some occurrence in the body that defends against cancers and, coincidentally, makes us sneeze.

Either way, a reduced risk of cancer is nothing to sneeze at.

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