Food allergy as a biological food quality control system

Esther B. Florsheim, Zuri A. Sullivan, William Khoury-Hanold, Ruslan Medzhitov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Food is simultaneously a source of essential nutrients and a potential source of lethal toxins and pathogens. Consequently, multiple sensory mechanisms evolved to monitor the quality of food based on the presence and relative abundance of beneficial and harmful food substances. These include the olfactory, gustatory, and gut chemosensory systems. Here we argue that, in addition to these systems, allergic immunity plays a role in food quality control by mounting allergic defenses against food antigens associated with noxious substances. Exaggeration of these defenses can result in pathological food allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1454
Number of pages15
JournalCell
Volume184
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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