Did you know season of your birth determines your allergy risk? - Firstpost
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Did you know season of your birth determines your allergy risk?

Updated: Mar 22, 2016 15:35 IST

#allergy   #DNA   #FHealth   #Health   #NewsTracker   #risk of allergy  

London: The time and date of birth determines our horoscope and the characteristics associated with it. However, a new study reveals a specific marker in our genes, which gives us the horoscope by the seasons of birth and shows how it influences so many things in our life.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

The study showed that the season a person is born in influences a wide range of things: From risk of allergic disease, to height and lifespan.

But, relatively little is known about how a one-time exposure, such as the season of birth, could hold lasting effects.

A specific marker that has been discovered on human deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) has been instrumental in linking the season of birth to risk of allergy in later life.

“It might sound like a horoscope by the seasons, but now we have scientific evidence for how that horoscope could work. Because season of birth influences so many things, the epigenetic marks discovered in this study could also potentially be the mechanism for other seasonally influenced diseases and traits too, not just allergy,” said lead author Gabrielle Lockett from University of Southampton in Britain.

The findings, published in the journal Allergy, revealed that particular epigenetic marks (specifically, DNA methylation) were associated with season of birth and still present 18 years later.

Also, this epigenetic marks exposed the link to allergic disease, for example people born in autumn had an increased risk of eczema compared to those born in spring.

“Epigenetic marks are attached onto DNA, and can influence gene expression (the process by which specific genes are activated to produce a required protein) for years, maybe even into the next generation,” explained one of the researchers John Holloway, professor at Southampton University.

While these results have clinical implications in mediating against allergy risk, we are not advising altering pregnancy timing,” Holloway added.

The team conducted epigenetic scanning on DNA samples from a group of people born on the Isle of Wight in Britain and the results were validated in a cohort of Dutch children.


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