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what do we have here
oh no no those are cashews.
So is this like a bowl full of death to you?
Yes, well, cashews aren’t as strong of reaction for me
but I am allergic to tree nuts.
It’s not fun, it’s not fun at all.
Hey smart people, Joe here.
嗨 聪明人们 我是Joe
I recently invited my friend wheezy waiter
to come by and talk about food allergies.
Just one, they’re not real cashews,
they’re stunt cashews.
Of course you should never trick a friend with the food that they’re allergic to,
当然 你不应该用过敏食物 开你朋友的玩笑
but it’s okay
wheezy waiter and I are friends,
and I’m a doctor.
These days most of us know
someone with a food allergy, some food they have to avoid eating,
or even coming into contact with
in order to avoid a dangerous reaction or even death.
why are people allergic to food?
And why are food allergies on the rise?
Maybe I’m just getting old
but it’s seems like food allergies are more common than they used to be.
Well we’re not imagining things,
scientific data backs that up.
The percentage of children with food allergy
has definitely increased in recent years.
I’m allergic to all tree nuts
so I’m allergic to walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts,
所以我对核桃 松子 杏仁 腰果 榛子 夏威夷果
pistachios – here in Texas – pecans everywhere.
-Not pecans no
I always say pecans, but you’ve taught me it’s pecans.
我一直是说/pɪˈkʌns/ 但是你教过我 该读/pɪˈkæns/
-Yeah I told you the right way -yeah.
-对 我告诉过你正确的读音 -对
That stuff ends up in a lot of different foods,
so I imagine you have to have accidently encounter these stuff before.
I have accidentally encountered almost all those that listed.
-What happens? -What happens is my mouth swells up,
my throat swells up, I get hives,
I get hives in my lungs, I can’t breathe, horrible stomachache,
肺部发炎 呼吸困难 肚子剧痛
and it lasts for three hours.
But I don’t think about reading labels
and that’s a whole difference about how we navigate the world as things that
I don’t have to think about and you do.
and especially now
it seems like the nuts are cropping up in everything
like barbecue sauce or cocktails,
like drinks now like to have walnut bitters in them.
To make matters even more confusing,
adults can also become allergic to foods that they never had issues with as children.
I am the host and creator of the YouTube channel The Brain Scoop and I work for
我是YouTube频道The Brain Scoop的主持人及创始人
the Field Museum as their Chief Curiosity Correspondent.
So I saw on Twitter recently that
you aren’t getting along with certain kinds of nuts very well anymore.
I’ve never had problem really with any sort of food.
you know. I but otherwise never have had any sort of allergy whatsoever
then a weird thing happened.
Why don’t we try almond milk for the first time?
I had never tried it.
The next morning just routine morning
on my way to work I had my bowl of cereal, poured the almond milk on it
and I got to work
I notice that my nose was just dripping like a faucet,
and I realized I was hot and itchy,
and I noticed that I was just absolutely covered in full-body hives.
I just was like this is really weird.
Now a true food allergy is different from a food intolerance.
This is really important
like if you’re lactose intolerant
and you can’t digest cow’s milk.
It can make you feel really sick Aches, pains and digestive troubles, that kind of stuff.
它会使你感觉到疼痛 痛苦 产生消化问题等等
But if you’re allergic to milk,
it could kill you.
A true allergy is when your body’s immune system
has a reaction to the food on a molecular level.
It’s your body treating food as a germ or an invader,
which actually doesn’t make sense.
Let’s look at how this works.
Food is made up of lots of different molecular bits
like the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
比如脂肪 糖类 和蛋白质
We’re gonna focus in on the proteins
everything we eat has proteins and they come in a variety of shapes.
Our bodies usually digest food proteins down to their most basic units,
but some food proteins don’t get completely broken down
and they escape into the body where they meet immune system
immune system’s job to recognize protein shapes that
come from dangerous invaders – viruses,bacteria, things like that sneaking around your body.
But peanut butter should not cause this reaction.this make no sense.
cobras jellyfish really big wasps maybe
but not deliciously roasted legumes.
molecules called antibodies stick to the foreign food molecule
leading to the release of a chemical called histamine.
which make you really itchy
or reaction is bad enough it can cause anaphylaxis –
where the entire body just goes haywire.
from dizziness to swelling to your ability to breathe.
So I started looking up like
you know can you just develop an almond allergy or a tree nut allergy as an adult –
and I said well what could cause it.
The only unusual thing was this almond milk,
so I immediately made an appointment with an allergist.
We needed to determine if almonds had specifically caused this allergic reaction.
So honestly we did this food challenge
and nothing happened.
Nothing happened so you’re sitting there now
and you still have no idea what triggered this,
what it really was,
or what you might meet again that could
give you a problem.
And it could be nothing,
it could be something else that
I ate. Emily had an allergic reaction to something.
In cases like these even
doctors can be stumped.
In the meantime he told me
when I left the office that
day that I needed to operate
as though I had a life-threatening tree nut allergy.
So he prescribed me epinephrine and
I have an epinephrine injector that
I have to carry with me everywhere.
I have to spend the next year carrying this around with me,
and maybe have to use it on some mystery food
that we don’t know.
I keep coming back to one basic question,
why would our bodies bother to have such extreme reactions?
Reactions that could kill us after a handful of trail mix, or a glass of milk.
The truth is we don’t know why food allergies exist –
there is a leading theory
and I should stress this is just a theory,
that allergies might exist thanks to parasites.
The part of our immune system that recognizes allergy causing food
also reacts to certain wormy, buggy infections.
Humans are a lot cleaner than we used to be,
back before hand sanitizer and indoor plumbing,
and you know, science.
还有 你知道的 也没科学
Today we don’t have as many parasites entering our bodies,
so maybe that bit of our immune system is just bored –
so it’s overreacting
and attacking foreign-looking proteins in our food instead.
Our clean, sterile, no dirt eating lifestyles
could be behind the rise in allergies of all kinds.
But that’s just a theory,
wait that’s not my catchphrase What am I doing?
等等 这不是我的标题 我在做什么？
Peanut allergies are the most common food allergy,
affecting nearly 1 in 40 kids in the US.
In all, we know of at least 400 proteins for more
than a hundred and seventy foods that cause allergic reactions
with eight foods accounting for 90% of those.
Now a lot of people are allergic to shrimp and other shellfish,
and a lot of those people are also allergic to little bugs called dust mites.
Now shrimp shellfish and dust mites are all invertebrates
and all of them trigger allergies
thanks to a protein called tropomyosin.
Well they share that protein
and it’s very different from anything our bodies make.
This is an example of cross reactivity,
like if you’re allergic to cashews
you might also be allergic to pistachios or
mangos since they’re all in the same plant family.
I’m telling you evolution explains everything.
So how can you
avoid food allergies for you or your kids?
just a decade or two ago
doctors recommended not giving young kids foods that commonly trigger allergies
for at least the first few years of their life.
But that was actually the exact wrong advice.
Food allergy rates continued to rise,
so doctors changed their recommendations.
Today’s advice suggests parents should
slowly introduce common allergic foods early, and in small amounts
– and it seems like it’s working.
Food allergy rates have stopped rising at least.
I mean we’re parents now
How does your having an allergy affect
what you’re introducing your child to –
if it were up to me
I probably would be incredibly more wimpy about it,
but my wife my wife is introducing all these things.
She introduced all the all the nuts to her so far
and she’s not allergic.
So yeah, and I got nervous every time. Which is fine.
-所以…… -我每次都非常担心 但她没什么事儿
If you already have a food allergy,
unfortunately there’s no cure.
We’re developing treatments
like getting the immune system accustomed to allergy causing foods in small doses, there’s
even a sticker that acts almost like a nicotine patch for peanut allergy.
please remember always talk to a doctor before you attempt any treatment.
但务必记住 尝试治疗之前 先咨询你的医生
Sadly with food allergies
there’s still more questions than there are answers.
We know what’s causing them,
we know a little bit about how to prevent them,
but we don’t know why they exist
or how to cure them.
It’s really stressful to not know what caused
it and to not have any reliable way of testing what caused it.
You take for granted
when you don’t have a food allergy – you can go wherever you want
ready to eat anything and so you’re
automatically your world like shrinks quite a bit.
Every restaurant you go to,
every lunch that you eat,
if you didn’t prepare it yourself
I’m wondering like is this gonna have something in it that could kill me?
And am I allergic to almonds?
And if it’s not almonds then what is it?
Are people taking me seriously.
That’s a big concern that people who have food allergies.
But, it can be life-threatening.
Is it frustrating that people can’t give you an answer about why this happened.
Yes, I would love a cure that would be great.
是的 我很想要治疗方法 有就太好了
Do you’ve a cure are you gonna introduce a cure?
Well it’s called exposure therapy.
But every scientific question that we know the answer to today was
once a mystery just like this
an answer barely out of reach, in the fog of not knowing yet.
Someday we’ll figure it out.
Some nuts are just tougher to crack than others.
Thanks to curiosity stream for supporting PBS Digital Studio.