Food allergyThe effect of gastric digestion on food allergyUntersmayr, Eva; Jensen-Jarolim, ErikaAuthor Information Center of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria Correspondence to Professor Erika Jensen-Jarolim, Center of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18–20, 1090 Vienna, Austria Tel: +43 1 40400 5104; fax: +43 1 40400 5130; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: June 2006 - Volume 6 - Issue 3 - p 214-219 doi: 10.1097/01.all.0000225163.06016.93 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review The role of the stomach as the primary location of protein digestion is very well recognized, leading to classification of proteins as digestion-resistant or digestion-labile. This review analyses the role of gastric digestion in food allergy. Recent findings Hindrance of gastric digestion by elevation of the gastric pH, the therapeutic goal of anti-ulcer medication, was recently shown to trigger food allergy via oral sensitization in a murine food allergy model. The relevance in humans was assessed in an observational study of 152 gastroenterological patients who were medicated with anti-ulcer drugs due to dyspeptic disorders. Twenty-five percent of all patients developed a boost or de-novo IgE formation towards regular constituents of the daily diet. The clinical relevance of the induced antibodies was confirmed by positive skin and oral-provocation tests. Moreover, the importance of gastric digestion was also proven for food-allergic patients, as the allergenicity of allergens were reduced up to a 10 000-fold by gastric digestion. Summary These recent studies indicate for the first time the important gate-keeping function of gastric digestion, both in the sensitization and the effector phases of food allergy. Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.