Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(7), 2770-2797; doi:10.3390/ijerph8072770
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The Search for Reliable Biomarkers of Disease in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Other Environmental Intolerances

1,* email, 1email, 1email, 2email and 1email
Received: 11 April 2011; in revised form: 10 June 2011 / Accepted: 27 June 2011 / Published: 1 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Food Allergy)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Whilst facing a worldwide fast increase of food and environmental allergies, the medical community is also confronted with another inhomogeneous group of environment-associated disabling conditions, including multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, electric hypersensitivity, amalgam disease and others. These share the features of poly-symptomatic multi-organ cutaneous and systemic manifestations, with postulated inherited/acquired impaired metabolism of chemical/physical/nutritional xenobiotics, triggering adverse reactions at exposure levels far below toxicologically-relevant values, often in the absence of clear-cut allergologic and/or immunologic involvement. Due to the lack of proven pathogenic mechanisms generating measurable disease biomarkers, these environmental hypersensitivities are generally ignored by sanitary and social systems, as psychogenic or “medically unexplained symptoms”. The uncontrolled application of diagnostic and treatment protocols not corresponding to acceptable levels of validation, safety, and clinical efficacy, to a steadily increasing number of patients demanding assistance, occurs in many countries in the absence of evidence-based guidelines. Here we revise available information supporting the organic nature of these clinical conditions. Following intense research on gene polymorphisms of phase I/II detoxification enzyme genes, so far statistically inconclusive, epigenetic and metabolic factors are under investigation, in particular free radical/antioxidant homeostasis disturbances. The finding of relevant alterations of catalase, glutathione-transferase and peroxidase detoxifying activities significantly correlating with clinical manifestations of MCS, has recently registered some progress towards the identification of reliable biomarkers of disease onset, progression, and treatment outcomes.
Keywords: multiple chemical sensitivity; chronic fatigue; fibromyalgia; electric hypersensitivity; amalgam toxicity; environmental medicine; detoxification; oxidative damage; environmental intolerances; disease biomarkers
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MDPI and ACS Style

De Luca, C.; Raskovic, D.; Pacifico, V.; Thai, J.C.S.; Korkina, L. The Search for Reliable Biomarkers of Disease in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Other Environmental Intolerances. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 2770-2797.

AMA Style

De Luca C, Raskovic D, Pacifico V, Thai JCS, Korkina L. The Search for Reliable Biomarkers of Disease in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Other Environmental Intolerances. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011; 8(7):2770-2797.

Chicago/Turabian Style

De Luca, Chiara; Raskovic, Desanka; Pacifico, Valeria; Thai, Jeffrey Chung Sheun; Korkina, Liudmila. 2011. "The Search for Reliable Biomarkers of Disease in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Other Environmental Intolerances." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 8, no. 7: 2770-2797.

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