Is it possible to tell or rule out (potentially a priori) whether any given substance or compound is likely and how likely to cause allergies with high confidence, without the need to conduct experiments, e.g. by looking at its properties, e.g. solubility, molecular structure or reactivity?

From what I've heard is that generally speaking, things that we come in contact with in early years tend to be less likely to cause problems later on, but still, there seem to be differences even with food and substances that do not quite appear to be exotic, e.g. peanuts.

This question is related to these, though I'd consider it more generic.

  • $\begingroup$ So, the first time you're exposed to an allergen, atopic individuals generally produce a large amount of IgE antibodies, and in the case of an allergen, to that allergen. These IgE antibodies attach to mast cells. If the allergen is contacted again, they interact with the IgE on the mast cells, and trigger the allergic reaction when the mast cells begin releasing a whole host of compounds into the region: histamines, leukotrienes, cytokines, etc. There's a host of ongoing studies into genetics, heredity, and TGFß as to susceptibility. I'm unsure there's currently a way to predict it though. $\endgroup$ – CKM Mar 5 '15 at 1:10
  • $\begingroup$ You might be right, @Kendall. This could well be a trillion-dollar question. A definitive answer may establish a unified theory of allergies and produce perfect treatments and predict genetic disposition. If I had an answer, it might thus not be worth posting here but rather to file patents for anything related. $\endgroup$ – Arc Mar 5 '15 at 9:16

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