(10/03/12) - If it isn't colds and flu this time of year, it is allergies dragging a lot of us down. Pop quiz time. When it comes to fighting and fending off allergies, let's separate fact from myth.
Triggered by things like pollen or pets, allergies affect millions.
Myth number one: Bees make are stealth allergy fighters. It cancers around the pollen collected in their honey. A lot of people use honey to build immunity - one tablespoon of honey every morning, to be precise.
Fact: There has been little research on the allergy benefits of local honey. A 2002 study found it was not effective, but a small study in 2011 showed it reduced symptoms in birch pollen sufferers by 60 percent.
Dr. Amitava Dasgupta says while there's not much scientific backing, "honey is not going to cause any harm to your body, so if it doesn't do any harm to your body, what do you have to lose?"
Myth two: Moving to the desert will get rid of your allergies.
Fact: Some of the plants that trigger your symptoms might not be in the desert, but grass and ragweed pollen are found just about everywhere.
Myth: Hypo-allergenic dogs are the answer to pet allergies.
Fact: A study at Henry Ford Hospital found they do not have lower household allergen levels than other dog breeds. While some people believe the allergens are in the fur, they're actually in the animal's skin and saliva. The best bet for those with pet allergies could be a short-haired dogs. They shed less, produce less dander. Some research actually shows exposure to dogs early in life can help prevent pet allergies.
While they're annoying, there seems to be a major upside to allergies.
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests people with allergies have a 20 to 50 percent lower risk of developing Glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.
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