People suffering from allergy are far less likely to contract cancer than others, according to two studies.
Scientists believe that adverse reactions stimulate the immune system, helping to ward off other potentially fatal conditions, reports telegraph.co.uk.
“Allergies are a general activation of our immune systems. It’s hard to prove, and I’ve heard some scepticism, but it’s a concept in this field and the studies add to that,” said Ronald Crystal, chief of pulmonary and critical-care medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Centre in New York.
The study found that asthmatics were 30 per cent less likely to get ovarian cancer than others, and children with allergies to airborne substances were 40 per cent less likely to develop leukaemia than other youngsters.
The research said evidence was growing that putting up with allergies provides a medical advantage and found that children with airborne allergies also had reduced rates of throat, skin, lung and intestinal cancer.
“More work is still needed, but the numbers show that allergy is a statistically significant protective factor,” said Zuber Mulla, an epidemiologist at Texas Tech University, who led the ovarian cancer study.
Canadian studies showed that having an allergy or hay fever lowered the chances of getting pancreatic cancer by up to 58 per cent.
The research into leukaemia and cancer was carried out at Minnesota University, America.