The recent years show more and more evidence that an increasing number of people developed allergic diseases . Apart from the well-known pollinosis (also known as hey fever) more patients suffer from allergic reactions originating from the gastrointestinal tract. Depending on the location of the allergic manifestation the patients present with complaints like swallowing, abdominal pain, flatulence, obstipation or diarrhea, or a combination of those. However, these patients can also develop symptoms outside of the gastrointestinal tract – a pronounced fatigue, headaches, performance loss, skin problems and psychic symptoms can restrict the patients’ quality of life massively. In this context, food intolerances are most common, but also food allergies or pseudo-allergic reactions can be responsible for these symptoms.
An intolerance against histamine is less frequent and its progression is only poorly understood. Even more rare are food intolerances induced by allergic or pseudo-allergic reactions, and other immune system-related processes make them very hard to diagnose. .
In the last years cereal intolerances especially caused by gluten have been observed with growing concern. . For decades cereal products are the main carbohydrate source in our western diet. There is strong evidence that an increasing number of people develop intolerances to various cereals i.e. wheat, rye or barley. Reason for these observations might be 1) theadverse influence of industrialization, 2) the breeding of high performance wheat varieties, and 3) a change in the intestinal bacterial composition.
Unfortunately the diagnostic choices for food intolerances are restricted to a small number of specific blood and skin tests, and to elimination diets, which make it frequently impossible to detect the causative allergic antigens. Because these therapeutic options are very limiting there isgreat need for new biomarkers.
An important goal of our “Society of Nutritional Medicine, Exercise and Sports” is to support and promote research for the development of novel and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic options for food intolerances .