Everyday electric field exposure and increased sensitivity to allergens

Low-dose immunotherapy, an innovative treatment for allergies and other immune disorders, can have impressive results, but its mechanism of action is currently not well understood. Researchers from the United Kingdom now investigated its effect on cellular calcium and how this is influenced by exposure to everyday electric fields. Intriguingly, their results suggest that patients may experience increased sensitivity to allergens as a result of exposure to everyday electric fields.

By Basant K. Puri & Jean Monro

Low-dose immunotherapy (LDI) by a technique called provocation-neutralization works by causing an allergic reaction in a patient, then neutralizing the reaction using an optimal dose of the same allergen that caused the reaction. This technique has been shown to be an effective treatment for food and chemical sensitivities as well as to inhaled particles.

In 2017, a team of British researchers showed that LDI is associated with reduced calcium uptake into certain white blood cells. They have now carried out a more extensive study in which they examined what happens to calcium levels in these blood cells when people are exposed to everyday electric fields. The present study involved 47 patients, who were tested both before and after LDI.

Many things can trigger allergies. Pollen, dust and certain types of food are among the most common. © RyanKing999/Getty Images

Senior author of the studies, Dr. Jean Monro, explained their findings: “We found that exposure to everyday electric fields worsened the effect of allergens on calcium levels in lymphocytes”. In other words, calcium uptake into these cells was increased by electromagnetic exposure, but with low dose immunotherapy the levels were significantly reduced.

Lymphocytes are white blood cells that play a crucial role in the body’s immune system. Electric field exposure was found to be important in relation to several allergens, including formaldehyde, mercury, natural gas, nickel, nitrosamines, petrol/gas exhaust, salicylate, benzoate and metabisulfite. Dr. Monro, who is the Medical Director of the Breakspear Clinic in Hemel Hempstead, UK, continued: “Although we have found that low-dose immunotherapy can be an effective treatment for allergies, our most recent study suggests that patients may experience increased sensitivity to allergens as a result of exposure to everyday electric fields. These can be reduced by low-dose immunotherapy”.

The molecular mechanism involved relates to a theory put forward by Professor Martin Pall, of the University of Washington, in which he states that electromagnetic fields might activate special calcium channels in cells. Following LDI treatment, the effect of sensitization by electromagnetic fields was reduced, therefore the authors state that low-dose immunotherapy is a successful treatment. Meanwhile, the British team are intending to seek funding to build on their findings and carry out further research into this issue.

Read the original article here:

Basant K. Puri, Daniel R. Segal & Jean A. Monro: The effect of successful low-dose immunotherapy ascertained by provocation neutralization on lymphocytic calcium ion influx following electric field exposure, 15.08.2019.

The Editors

Articles signed by the editors were written in a collective effort.

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