Allergy myths busted

Published On: Nov 08 2012 10:08:09 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 09 2012 06:45:00 AM EST

From your skin to your nose to your digestive system, allergies can affect them all. Sufferers will try just about anything to get relief, but some might be wasting their time.

Allergies affect millions and troublesome dust and dander spread through the air and so do myths about ways to beat them.

Some believe bees make the best allergy fighter and the pollen collected in their honey can help you build immunity.

"With just one tablespoon of honey every morning," said Amitava Dasgupta, PhD, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

But there has been little research on the allergy benefits of local honey. A 2002 study found it was not effective, but a small study in 2011 showed it reduced symptoms in birch pollen sufferers by 60 percent.

Dasgupta says while there's not much scientific backing, there's not much harm in trying it either.

"Honey is not going to cause any harm to your body, so if it doesn't do any harm to your body, what do you have to lose," he said.

If you think moving to the desert will get rid of your allergies, think again.

Some of the plants that trigger your symptoms might not be in the desert, but grass and ragweed pollen is found just about everywhere.

Research shows exposure to dogs early in life can help prevent pet allergies. People who are already allergic to man's best friend might think hypo-allergenic dogs are the answer to their problem, but a study at Henry Ford Hospital found they do not have lower household allergen levels than other dog breeds.

While some people believe the allergens are in the fur, they're actually in the animal's skin and saliva. The best bet for those with pet allergies could be a short-haired dog. They shed less and produce less dander.

While they're annoying, there seems to be a major upside to allergies.

A study published in the journal of the national cancer institute suggests people with allergies have a 20 to 50-percent lower risk of developing glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

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