Clinical Nutrition in Gastrointestinal Disease

Alan Buchman, MD, MSPH

Chapter 9: Food Allergies (continued)

Stephan C. Bischoff, MD; Sheila E. Crowe, MD

Food proteins, although indispensable for life, can become harmful when recognized by the immune system as foreign antigens. In this case, food proteins trigger an abnormal immune response and subsequently an inflammatory reaction, which can be detrimental to the host depending on the extent and the duration of inflammation. Food proteins that induce such damaging immune responses are referred to as food allergens, and the reactions are called allergic (from greek "allos" = different from, "ergos" = work) reactions. Allergic reactions to food frequently occur in early…