In the United States Allergy is the sixth in the list of chronic diseases. It also affects more than 50 million people in the U.S. struggle with the consequences of allergies annual cost to the budget of 18 billion dollars. Causes of allergic conditions is not fully understood and they are often not dependent on a person’s lifestyle. So scientists were able to trace the relationship between the risk of allergies and the season in which the person was born.
The season in which a person was born, is associated with the risk of allergies
According to scientists, those people who were born in the autumn months, throughout life, remain at high risk of developing eczema.
For the experiment, scientists from the University of Southamptom (UK) conducted epigenetic scan on the DNA of people born on the Isle of Wight off the South coast of the UK.
The term epigenetics refers to any process that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. These processes lead to changes that can be passed to other cells. Although epigenetic processes are a natural part of the functions of our organism, they can cause negative health effects if they occur improperly.
“Epigenetic marks attached to DNA,” explains Professor John Holloway, author of the study, “They can influence gene expression (the process by which specific genes are activated to produce the desired protein) for many years, maybe even in the next generations.”
After measuring the whole blood of the epigenome-wide DNA samples of 367 participants in the experiment, the researchers found that DNA methylation was associated with season of birth, and it kept its present 18 years later.
“It’s really interesting results,” said Professor Holloway. “We know that the season of birth affects people throughout their lives. For example, as a rule, people born in the autumn and winter have an increased risk of developing allergic diseases such as asthma. However, we still don’t know how and why risks can be so long”.
Professor Holloway adds that the study linked the DNA methylation by season of birth and risk of Allergy, but the doctor warns that the results have clinical significance and should not be construed as a recommendation to change date of conception”.
Study co-author Dr Gabriel Lockett adds that it may look like a horoscope seasons, but now there is scientific data about how this “program” can work. Markers found in this study may help to establish the relationship of season of birth and other diseases, not just Allergy.
The researchers believe that it requires additional study, as influenced by temperature, number of Sunny days and diet on specific diseases depending on the season of birth.
The results of this study were published in a special edition of “Allergy”.