Foto do autor

Linda Gamlin

Autor(a) de Evolution (Eyewitness Books)

45 Works 1,066 Membros 12 Reviews

About the Author

Linda Gamlin was trained as a biochemist and worked in research for several years before becoming a journalist. She specializes in writing about the immune system, and other health matters.


Obras de Linda Gamlin

Evolution (Eyewitness Books) (1987) 271 cópias, 3 resenhas
Trees (Eyewitness Explorers) (1985) 160 cópias
Secrets of the Seas (1995) 157 cópias, 1 resenha
Mysteries of the Rain Forest (1996) 85 cópias, 1 resenha
The Evolution of Life (1987) 51 cópias
The Complete Guide to Food Allergy and Intolerance (1989) — Autor — 45 cópias, 1 resenha
Origins of Life (1988) 19 cópias
The Deer in the Forest (1987) 17 cópias, 1 resenha
The Human Race (1988) 15 cópias
The Human Body (1988) 15 cópias
The Book of Natural History (1994) 14 cópias, 1 resenha
Life on Earth (1988) 14 cópias
Tiere. Wissen für Kinder (2004) 13 cópias
The World of Deer (1987) 10 cópias
Be a plant detective (1989) 10 cópias, 1 resenha
Majestic Mountains (1997) 9 cópias
Living Monsters (1978) 5 cópias
Sademetsän siimeksessä (1996) 5 cópias
Allergia käsiraamat (2009) 3 cópias
Evrim (2011) 3 cópias
Bäume (1998) 2 cópias
L'espèce humaine 1 exemplar(es)
The Rain Forest 1 exemplar(es)
La vita e l'uomo 1 exemplar(es)
Die Vielfalt des Lebens 1 exemplar(es)
La Vie: Evolution et diversité (1991) 1 exemplar(es)
Prehistoric World (2014) 1 exemplar(es)
Montanhas do Mundo 1 exemplar(es)
Eyewitness Explorers Trees 1 exemplar(es), 1 resenha


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Gamlin, Linda Jane
Data de nascimento



I'm still prevaricating over this book. On the one hand it seems fairly balanced and scientific in approach but on the other hand, the author's views seem to be out of line with mainstream medicine (which he seems to acknowledge). Of course, that doesn't mean he's wrong. The medical profession has a bit of a history of backing the wrong horse...from leeches to vaccinations....and the cause of stomach ulcers (which this particular version of the book doesn't actually recognise as the heliobacter bacillus). There also seems to be an over-reliance on the research work of a single doctor, Dr John Hunter.. Is it because they are mates? Or is it because he's the main researcher (or only) researcher in the field.....Hmm I checked him out via Google and he seems pretty sound...150 research papers to major medical journals etc.. I'm thinking that I made a big mistake in reading this version of the book, which is now 25 years old. Clearly, a lot has been discovered since this version of the book was published.
I was rather disappointed with the book. OK allergies were reasonably well explained, viz:
Antibodies can block infection in a variety of ways. With viruses, they may be able to prevent them from invading the body's cells simply by binding to them. With bacteria, however, antibodies alone are ineffectual. They need help to defeat the bacteria and their job is to act as signals to other cells and molecules in the body which have the power to kill. The antibodies form a coat on the surface of the bacterial cells and this stimulates the immune system's 'assassination teams' to go into action agains the bacteria
Antibodies are Y-shaped molecules. At the tip of each arm is an antigen-binding site where the antibody can bind to the particular feature of the antigen that it recognizes. These antigen-binding sites are the most changeable part of the antibody molecule.
The stem of an antibody can also vary, although nothing like as much.
There are five basic types of stem, and they produce five different types of antibody, known as isotypes. The names of these isotypes (in order of abundance) are: IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE. In all cases the letters 'Ig' stand for immunoglobulin –

IgE molecules are just as specific for their antigen as other antibody isotypes but they operate in a rather different way. Their main function is to defend the body against parasites such as ringworms and flukes - these are much larger than bacteria and viruses so the body has different strategies for killing them.

Mast cells are found embedded in our tissues throughout the body. They are especially common around the tubes leading to the lung (the bronchi), in the nose and in the gut - in other words, they are well positioned to guard the body's vulnerable entrance points from parasites. Each mast cell can have as many as 100,000 IgE molecules on its surface. These will not all be from the same B cell - so they will respond to different antigens.
Although the stem of the IgE molecule is attached to the mast cell the antigen-binding sites are still free. So when the right antigen comes along a will bind to the IgE molecules. This is the signal the mast cell has been waiting for. Packets of chemicals inside the cell are suddenly released to the ouside where they act as messengers, causing major changes in the cells and tissue around them. One of the main chemicals to be released is called histamine-
At least two different research teams are trying to develop a 'vaccine for peanut allergy and other food allergies. The vaccine is intended to block all allergic reactions by preventing mast cells from firing.
Identifying your allergens
The lists that follow (pp66-77) can be used as a starting point in tracking down your allergens:
Infections, Salt and MSG, Irritants (smoke, perfume, SO2), cold air, exercise, fear, anger, and multiple triggers.
Potential Allergens: Pollen Animal dander and feathers. Fungi and fungal spores.
One group of compounds that cause the release of damaging mediators such as histamine on mast cells are the lectins. They are produced in particularly high concentrations by peanuts, beans, peas and lentils, all of which are members of the legume family of plants. Lectins are also found in edible snails, and in wheat. The main characteristic of lectins is that they bind to carbohydrate molecules carried on the surface of all cells. As a result, they make red blood cells clump together, and this is how they are recognized in the laboratory.
Although lectins are probably the best-studied, they are certainly not the only food components that can trigger mast cells directly. Several foods contain peptides (small protein-like molecules) which also bind to mast cells and make them degranulate. Among the foods known to contain such peptides are egg white, strawberries, crustacean shellfish (prawns, shrimps, crabs, lobsters), tomatoes, fish, pork, alcohol and chocolate.
It has been found that 50 per cent of patients with false food allergy are deficient in the element magnesium. A shortage of magnesium is known to affect histamine release and increase sensitivity to histamine.

The radioallergosorbent test, or RAST, measures the level of IgE antibodies that a person has to a specific substance, such as a food protein or a pollen. There are four stages to the test:
Histamine is formed in foods by the action of certain bacteria. These are not disease-causing bacteria, and their presence is normally harmless, but if they are too numerous the histamine they generate can cause problems. The principal foods concerned are well-ripened cheeses and Continental sausages, especially those that are kept for a long time. Some types of fish, principally mackerel and tuna, may cause similar problems If they are not kept at low temperatures.
Any increase in the leakiness of the gut wall increases susceptibility to histamine in foods, simply because more histamine gets through. It seems likely that greater permeability of the gut is a common feature of both food allergy and food intolerance, so avoiding histamine-rich cheeses and sausages may be generally advisable.

But food intolerances were a whole other issue. I've extracted various pieces of text as follows which seem to set out the issues:
No-one writing about food intolerance can claim to be reflecting majority opinion', because there are such widely differing views on the subject. The disagreement is not over whether food intolerance exists - few doctors would dispute that it does. What is at issue is the prevalence of the problem, and the sort of symptoms it can cause. Controversy over the sort of symptoms caused by food intolerance is equally fierce. The orthodox view is that foods are unlikely to cause symptoms such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's disease. The idea of foods causing mental problems, such as depression, anxiety, hyperactivity or even psychosis is considered quite outrageous by most orthodox doctors and psychiatrists.

It is widely accepted, by orthodox and unorthodox doctors alike, that food intolerance reactions do not occur with such small amounts of food. {like that contained in gelatine capsules}.

The most comprehensive and frequently quoted trial of migraine patients was carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in 1982-3.
It involved 88 children with severe and frequent migraine, most of whom had other symptoms as well..... Of the 88 children who completed the diet, 78 recovered completely on one or other of the simple diets that were tried during the first stage of the experiment. Another four children 'improved greatly, and only six showed no improvement whatever. The response, in other words, was 93 per cent, a staggeringly high figure by any standards.

Whether food intolerance can ever produce stomach ulcers is a controversial issue. Certainly, there are case-histories of patients with persistent or recurring stomach ulcers who have recovered remarkably well on an elimination diet. (As mentioned above, there is no comment about the role of Heliobacter)

In the first edition of this book we wrote that the proposed link between food intolerance and Crohn's disease was 'highly controversial'. We are pleased to report that, in the nine years since then, the idea has become respectable, thanks to the excellent scientific work of Dr John Hunter at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. With his own Crohn's disease patients, Dr Hunter found that over 80 per cent recovered on an elimination diet, and then reacted to specific foods when these are reintroduced. How specific foods might cause Crohn's disease is not clear. Dr Hunter believes that an abnormal population of bacteria in the gut might be the problem, as in IBS (see p124). The discovery that bacterial peptides attract immune cells into the gut (described above) could fit in quite well with this explanation, and Dr Hunter suspects that enzyme deficiencies might play a part. It certainly looks as if several different factors could be at work in producing this puzzling disease.

Dr Phillip Lamey, of Glasgow University, who carried out this research on dental plates, suggests a way in which tooth grinding could produce a migraine. The continuous tensing of the jaw muscles during sleep might well produce toxins - overworked muscles do this.

In general, mental disorders are much more likely to be caused by emotional or social problems than by foods. Where they are a result of food intolerance, there will usually be physical symptoms as well, although a few patients have mental symptoms only.

Most doctors now accept that food sensitivity (either allergy or intolerance) can cause bed wetting. It probably does so by making smooth muscles throughout the body contract.

Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for 'low blood sugar', and it is usually a result of too much insulin being produced (or too much injected, in the case of diabetics). Everyone suffers from this condition to some extent - especially when they eat meals containing a lot of sugar and starch...... Various things can make hypoglycaemia more likely. Alcohol, tea and coffee can all do so, especially if drunk in excess. Smoking increases the amount of both glucagon and insulin, producing a rise in blood sugar followed by a fall, about an hour later....... The relationship between hypoglycemia and food intolerance is a very tangled one...... there is a suspicion that the tests for hypoglycaemia may sometimes be measuring food intolerance, without anyone being aware of this. More importantly, some doctors claim that hypoglycaemia can sometimes be a symptom of food intolerance.

Over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system can produce psychosomatic symptoms such as diarrhea, nervousness, tremors, high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. To make matters worse, adrenaline production is encouraged by smoking and by too much sugar, alcohol or coffee.

The question of chemical sensitivity is no less controversial than that of food intolerance - if anything is more hotly debated. But whereas there is good evidence to support the idea of food intolerance (see pp95-106), there is almost no scientific data about chemical sensitivity. Belief that the phenomenon exists is simply based on seeing individual patients who get well when they avoid certain chemical exposures.

There are various urban myths that reactions to artificial chemicals can be traced to their origins in buried organic remains that have been converted to coal and oil......[But] those raw materials - coal and oil - are not at all similar in their own origins........[and] these misconceptions are important, because the 'common origin' idea is the basis for some forms of [dodgy] therapy used with chemical sensitive patients.
Someone eating an average diet and drinking unfiltered tap water is likely to ingest at least a hundred different synthetic chemicals every day..... In all, we are probably exposed to at least two hundred different synthetic chemicals every day - and some people will encounter many seems unlikely that chemical sensitivity is allergic in origin. It is possible, however, that synthetic chemicals might affect the immune response in some way.
In one study,... 99 per cent were found to be deficient in a particular enzyme system. Such a high percentage is unusual in medical research, and suggests strongly that there is a link between chemical sensitivity and enzyme deficiency...... that exposure to two chemicals at Once can be far more damaging than being exposed to each chemical individually. This cocktail effect commonly occurs when the same enzymes are involved in detoxifying both chemicals...... those who think they may be sensitive to synthetic chemicals, the only sound method of diagnosis is to avoid chemical exposure as much as possible and see if the symptoms improve. Individual chemicals can then be tested.
A special chapter on children's food problems was considered necessary because there are important medical differences between young patients and older ones. Altering the diet is also far more risky for a child than it is for an adult, so there are more difficult decisions to be made before embarking on an elimination diet.

Over the past ten years, doctors have begun to recognize just how many different childhood problems can be caused by food sensitivity. Colic, eczema, asthma, persistent runny nose, glue ear, headaches, migraine, and even behavioural problems, have all been traced back to certain foods or food additives.

What causes food intolerance? The simple answer to the question 'what causes food intolerance?' is 'no-one knows'. Which is not to say that no-one has any ideas about the subject - there are ideas and theories in abundance. There is even a certain amount of evidence for some of them. At present, we are at the stage of picking through the ideas, looking at the meagre evidence, and trying to make some sense of it all.
One thing is clear. There is no single, straightforward mechanism behind all types of food intolerance. Even in the individual patient, there may be more than one abnormality causing the symptoms...... Immune reactions [may be] involved in some way, but they are unlikely to be the major factor producing the symptoms.

There are a whole range of theories about what might be causing food intolerance: immune system attacking food molecules; immune complexes forming in the blood; too many messengers like interferon; Viral infections; enzyme issues (either for digestion or the genetic lack of the enzyme for breaking down fructose or the enzyme for breaking down p-cresol can be inhibited by food colourings); disturbances in gut flora (eg. Via antibiotics. Or chemical exposure); and finally, by the contraceptive pill.

high. A more extensive method of testing, using hair and sweat samples, as well as blood, often shows up nutritional defects that are not revealed by the blood alone. This form of testing seems to be vindicated by the results in individual cases - correcting the deficiencies shown by hair or sweat tests often does wonders for patients with previously intractable health problems. This is not hard, scientific evidence of course, and some carefully designed trials are needed to test these new approaches to nutrition.

The idea of the elimination diet is to create a period of silence in which you can listen to your body answering specific questions. Any sort of background noise is going to confuse you, so you need to eliminate other things that cause symptoms before you start. The three main items to consider are airborne allergens, hyperventilation and chemical sensitivity.

Anyway, the treatment of food intolerance was obviously far more sketchy and hypothetical than that for allergies and I guess that reflected the science of the time. I've had a look at some more up to date material and it seems that some progress has been made in terms of understanding the mechanisms underlying food intolerance....see
… (mais)
booktsunami | Nov 1, 2023 |
OakGrove-KFA | Mar 28, 2020 |
Linda Gamlin has written numerous books for children. Sallie Reason's beautiful illustrations help make this book especially enjoyable. Included are: puzzles, projects, quizzes and an index.
uufnn | Aug 30, 2018 |


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