Food allergy seems to be in the mind, for researchers claim millions of people wrongly believe that they`ve a food allergy whereas in reality just a fraction suffer from a genuine problem.
A new study has revealed that although 20 per cent of adults in Britain, around ten million claim that they are unable to eat foods from milk to mustard, fewer than two per cent actually have a problem. The researchers from Portsmouth University found the discrepancy after reviewing studies into the prevalence of food allergies, which are caused by an over-reaction of the immune system, and intolerances, which have similar but less severe symptoms, the British media reported.
They have blamed Internet searches, self-testing kits and celebrity food fads for the epidemic of make-believe allergies and intolerances. As a result, they said millions are unnecessarily restricting their diets, starving themselves of their favourite foods and of key nutrients. Others could be suffering from another medical problem which goes untreated because they believe their symptoms are caused by a particular food such as milk, eggs or wheat, claim the researchers.