Food intolerances are adverse reactions that occur in the body due to the consumption of certain foods that are not metabolized, digested or assimilated correctly. But are they inherited or can a food intolerance develop throughout life?
There are certain food intolerances that can be inherited (such as fructose intolerance), but it has been shown that the predisposition to not tolerate some foods or substances properly is actually inherited. In general, food intolerances can have metabolic, pharmacological or undetermined causes.
Metabolic intolerances arise when there is an enzyme deficiency, i.e. when the protein responsible for metabolizing a certain substance is not in adequate quantity. For example, a person with lactose intolerance has a lactase deficiency. Another example is fructose intolerance. In this case it is a genetic disorder of autosomal recessive inheritance (fructosemia), characterized by an aldolase B deficiency. Intolerances of metabolic cause are the most frequent.
On the other hand, there are food intolerances of pharmacological cause. This type of intolerance is caused by substances present in certain foods and requires different factors for symptoms to appear. Finally, intolerances of undetermined causes have originated with the incorporation of processed and ultra-processed foods into the diet.
The symptoms produced by intolerances are digestive, neurological or dermatological problems, among others, but without involving the immune system (we would then speak of food allergies). The recommended treatment is not to include in the diet the foods that produce these intolerances.
It is very important to know which foods are not being metabolized well in the body. It is possible to know the genetic predisposition we have to develop certain intolerances through a genetic predisposition test or DNA test to be able to make a personalized diet and avoid the side effects caused by food intolerances.