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BBC World Service: The Why Factor

ByLauren Leigh Porter

Nov 16, 2015

Are we having an allergy epidemic? Are we too clean for our own good? These are just two questions covered in this week’s thought-provoking podcast The Why Factor, hosted by Mike Williams and created by BBC World Service.

I recently listened to the episode, ‘Why can’t some people eat certain foods?’ which mainly covered the public’s obsession with being gluten-free. Now being GF myself, I was intrigued by this subject, mainly because everyone always thinks I’m just pretending, a sad fact that this podcast covers.

Williams spoke to a few lead researchers in the field and they advised that this is true; some people have stated that they are allergic to something, then are tested and are not. Others state they choose the diet because to them it is healthier and gives them more energy, which the researchers sadly advised there is no proof for.

The podcast also covered how more people are actually getting allergies, and that this is due to us being too clean. That’s right, too clean. It goes into depth about how this has affected our immune systems. The podcast makes an interesting observation that by trying to beat disease by killing parasites and bugs, we are actually inhibiting ourselves from building a resilience to them. Food for thought – gluten free of course.

On the other hand it covers the topic of people with severe allergies. This spoke to me because allergies really do affect people lives, and it was interesting to hear what people go through when dealing with extreme allergies. It brought balance to the podcast. Overall the show is a must listen. It cuts through the crap, and being only 20 minutes long, gives you a clear insight into allergies and how we can be our own worst enemies. As per usual.

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