Alan C Logan's research while affiliated with Baltimore City Health Department and other places

Publications (76)

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In the ongoing series of spotlight interviews, Challenges Advisory Board member and Nova Institute for Health Fellow, Alan C. Logan, meets with thought leaders, scientists, scholars, healthcare professionals, artisans, and visionaries concerned about health at scales of persons, places, and the planet. Here in this interview, Dr. Christopher A. Low...
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Planetary health provides a perspective of ecological interdependence that connects the health and vitality of individuals, communities, and Earth’s natural systems. It includes the social, political, and economic ecosystems that influence both individuals and whole societies. In an era of interconnected grand challenges threatening health of all s...
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Concepts of planetary health attempt to collectively address the biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors contributing to “Anthropocene Syndrome”, which encompasses the many wicked interrelated challenges of our time. It is increasingly evident that the wide array of causative factors is underpinned by attitudes, values, and worldvie...
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Bold new approaches are urgently needed to overcome global health challenges. The proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is intended to provide rapid health breakthroughs. While new technologies for earlier disease detection and more effective treatment are critical, we urge equal attention be given to the wider (physical, e...
Conference Paper
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The “Earthrise” photograph, taken on the 1968 Apollo 8 mission, became one of the most significant images of the 20th Century. It triggered a profound shift in environmental awareness and the potential for human unity—inspiring the first Earth Day in 1970. Taking inspiration from these events 50 years later, we initiated Project Earthrise at our 20...
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The concept of planetary health blurs the artificial lines between health at scales of person, place, and planet. It emphasizes the interconnected grand challenges of our time, and underscores the need for integration of biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of health in the modern environment. Here, in our Viewpoint article, we r...
Article
Full-text available
The “Earthrise” photograph, taken on the 1968 Apollo 8 mission, became one of the most significant images of the 20th Century. It triggered a profound shift in environmental awareness and the potential for human unity—inspiring the first Earth Day in 1970. Taking inspiration from these events 50 years later, we initiated Project Earthrise at our 20...
Article
Full-text available
Planetary health is a broad multidisciplinary effort that attempts to address what has been described as “Anthropocene Syndrome”—the wicked, interrelated challenges of our time. These include, but are not limited to, grotesque biodiversity losses, climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, the global burden of non-communicable d...
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The term “Anthropocene Syndrome” describes the wicked interrelated challenges of our time. These include, but are not limited to, unacceptable poverty (of both income and opportunity), grotesque biodiversity losses, climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), health inequalit...
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The concept of planetary health blurs the artificial lines between health at scales of person, place and planet. At the same time, it emphasizes the integration of biological, psychological, social and cultural aspects of health in the modern environment. Our grandest challenges in the Anthropocene ultimately stem from human attitudes to each other...
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inVIVO Planetary Health (inVIVO) is a progressive scientific movement providing evidence, advocacy, and inspiration to align the interests and vitality of people, place, and planet. Our goal is to transform personal and planetary health through awareness, attitudes, and actions, and a deeper understanding of how all systems are interconnected and i...
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High-rise apartment buildings have long been associated with the poor mental health of their residents. The aims of this paper are to examine whether this connection is necessarily so, by reviewing the evidence relating to the relationships between high-rise living and social wellbeing, occupant’s stress levels, and the influence they have on menta...
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The 'golden age of medicine' - the first half of the 20th century, reaching its zenith with Jonas Salk's 1955 polio vaccine - was a time of profound advances in surgical techniques, immunization, drug discovery, and the control of infectious disease; however, when the burden of disease shifted to lifestyle-driven, chronic, non-communicable diseases...
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The emerging concept of planetary health—defined as the interdependent vitality of all natural and anthropogenic ecosystems (social, political, and otherwise)—emphasizes that the health of human civilization is intricately connected to the health of natural systems within the Earth’s biosphere. In the clinical setting, narrative medicine underscore...
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Four decades ago, several health movements were sprouting in isolation. In 1980,the environmental group Friends of the Earth expanded the World Health Organization definitionof health, reminding citizenry that, “health is a state of complete physical, mental, social andecological well-being and not merely the absence of disease—personal health invo...
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Experts in preventive medicine and public health have long-since recognized that health is more than the absence of disease, and that each person in the ‘waiting room’ and beyond manifests the social/political/economic ecosystems that are part of their total lived experience. The term planetary health—denoting the interconnections between the healt...
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North American naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of practice that is woven into the larger fabric of integrative medicine; in a number of US states and Canadian provinces, naturopathic doctors enjoy a wide scope of practice, including the ability to make diagnoses, order tests, use medical technology, write prescription drugs, and perform mi...
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In 1980, Jonas Salk (1914–1995) encouraged professionals in anthropology and related disciplines to consider the interconnections between “planetary health,” sociocultural changes associated with technological advances, and the biology of human health. The concept of planetary health emphasizes that human health is intricately connected to the heal...
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The emerging concept of planetary health emphasizes that the health of human civilization is intricately connected to the health of natural systems within the Earth’s biosphere; here, we focus on the rapidly progressing microbiome science - the microbiota-mental health research in particular - as a way to illustrate the pathways by which exposure t...
Article
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The term planetary health – denoting the interconnections between the health of person and place at all scales – emerged from the environmental and holistic health movements of the 1970–80s; in 1980, Friends of the Earth expanded the World Health Organization definition of health, stating: “health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and...
Article
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inVIVO Planetary Health is a progressive, humanist scientific movement promoting both evidence and advocacy around concepts of planetary health which denote the interdependence between human health and place at all scales. Our seventh annual conference was held in Canmore, Alberta 4-6th April 2018, themed “Transforming Life: Unify Personal, Public,...
Article
The World Health Organization strategy for global health includes a culturally-sensitive blending of western biomedicine with traditional forms of healing; in practical terms this approach is often referred to as integrative medicine. One distinct element within the systems of North American integrative healthcare is naturopathic medicine; while th...
Article
Full-text available
The term planetary health—denoting the interdependence between human health and place at all scales—emerged from the environmental and preventive health movements of the 1970–80s; in 1980, Friends of the Earth expanded the World Health Organization definition of health, stating: “health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and ecological...
Conference Paper
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Introduction/Aim: The biodiversity of our surroundings is continuing to decline worldwide in many high-density urban areas due to the conversion of nature to the built environment. A reasonable case can be made to assume that people living in high-rise apartment buildings built in place of greater biodiversity have a reduced exposure to soil, plant...
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The term planetary health, popularized in the 1980s and 1990s, was born out of necessity; although the term was used by many diverse groups, it was consistently used to underscore that human health is coupled to the health of natural systems within the Earth’s biosphere. The interrelated challenges of climate change, massive biodiversity losses, en...
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The epidemic of socially-rooted, lifestyle-driven non-communicable diseases (NCDs; also referred to as socially-transmitted conditions) has now overtaken infectious diseases as the leading cause of human mortality. Despite this reality, physician education, training and practice within industrialized nations is heavily slanted toward the biopharmac...
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Skin barrier structure and function is essential to human health. Hitherto unrecognized functions of epidermal keratinocytes show that the skin plays an important role in adapting whole-body physiology to changing environments, including the capacity to produce a wide variety of hormones, neurotransmitters and cytokine that can potentially influenc...
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Advances in omics and microbiome technology have transformed the ways in which scientists can visualize the biological consequences of life in the ‘ecological theatre'. Exposome science examines the total accumulated environmental exposures (both detrimental and beneficial) as a means to understand the response of the total organism to the total en...
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Advances in science have illuminated the role of the “ecological theatre”—the total living environment—in human health. In a rapidly changing epoch known as the anthropocene, microbiome science is identifying functional connections between all life, both seen and unseen. Rather than an easily identifiable era appearing in rock strata, the anthropoc...
Article
Advances in metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and systems biology are providing a new emphasis in research; interdisciplinary work suggests that personalized medicine is on the horizon. These advances are illuminating sophisticated interactions between human-associated microbes and the immune system. The result is a transformed view of future...
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The influential scientist Rene J. Dubos (1901-1982) conducted groundbreaking studies concerning early-life environmental exposures (e.g., diet, social interactions, commensal microbiota, housing conditions) and adult disease. However, Dubos looked beyond the scientific focus on disease, arguing that “mere survival is not enough”. He defined mental...
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Advances in research concerning the brain-related influences of the microbiome have been paradigm shifting, although at an early stage, clinical research involving beneficial microbes lends credence to the notion that the microbiome may be an important target in supporting mental health (defined here along the continuum between quality of life and...
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Relationships between gastrointestinal viscera and human emotions have been documented by virtually all medical traditions known to date. The focus on this relationship has waxed and waned through the centuries, with noted surges in interest driven by cultural forces. Here we explore some of this history and the emerging trends in experimental and...
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Throughout evolution, microbial genes and metabolites have become integral to virtually all aspects of host physiology, metabolism and even behaviour. New technologies are revealing sophisticated ways in which microbial communities interface with the immune system, and how modern environmental changes may be contributing to the rapid rise of inflam...
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Recent advances in research concerning the public health value of natural environments have been remarkable. The growing interest in this topic (often housed under terms such as green and/or blue space) has been occurring in parallel with the microbiome revolution and an increased use of remote sensing technology in public health. In the context of...
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Advances in research concerning the mental health implications of dietary patterns and select nutrients have been remarkable. At the same time, there have been rapid increases in the understanding of the ways in which non-pathogenic microbes can potentially influence many aspects of human health, including those in the mental realm. Discussions of...
Article
Ancestral experiences and evolutionary processes continue to influence the brain in ways that may escape conscious awareness by contemporary adults. It is becoming increasingly evident that the 2.2 million years our genus has spent in natural environments are consequential to modern mental health. This might be especially true in the context of rap...
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Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901–1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcom...
Article
Full-text available
Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901¿1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking experimental research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life...
Article
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Psychiatry is at an important juncture, with the current pharmacologically focused model having achieved modest benefi ts in addressing the burden of poor mental health worldwide. Although the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of men...
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Over the last decade the amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has come under intense scrutiny. International laboratory and epidemiological research continues to support the hypothesis that environmental exposure to BMAA (e.g., through dietary practices, water supply) can promote the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases. A wide vari...
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In 21st-century public health, rapid urbanization and mental health disorders are a growing global concern. The relationship between diet, brain function and the risk of mental disorders has been the subject of intense research in recent years. In this review, we examine some of the potential socioeconomic and environmental challenges detracting fr...
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The purposeful application of fermentation in food and beverage preparation, as a means to provide palatability, nutritional value, preservative, and medicinal properties, is an ancient practice. Fermented foods and beverages continue to make a significant contribution to the overall patterns of traditional dietary practices. As our knowledge of th...
Article
Acne vulgaris has long been postulated to feature a gastrointestinal mechanism, dating back 80 years to dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury. They hypothesised that emotional states (e.g. depression and anxiety) could alter normal intestinal microbiota, increase intestinal permeability, and contribute to systemic inflammation. They...
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Mental health disorders, depression in particular, have been described as a global epidemic. Research suggests that a variety of lifestyle and environmental changes may be driving at least some portion of the increased prevalence. One area of flourishing research involves the relationship between the intestinal microbiota (as well as the related fu...
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Rapid scientific and technological advances have allowed for a more detailed understanding of the relevance of intestinal microbiota, and the entire body-wide micro biome, to human health and well-being. Rodent studies have provided suggestive evidence that probiotics (e.g. lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) can influence behavior. More importantly,...
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In recent years there has been a renewed interest concerning the ways in which the gastrointestinal tract -- its functional integrity and microbial residents -- might influence human mood (e.g. depression) and behavioral disorders. Once a hotbed of scientific interest in the early 20th century, this area lay dormant for decades, in part due to its...
Article
It has become increasingly common for dermatologists in clinical practice to encounter adult acne and patient concerns related to the visible signs of aging. Oxidative stress, and lipid peroxidation in particular, is a common thread running between acne, intrinsic aging, and environmental influences on the skin aging process. The burden placed on t...
Article
Acne vulgaris is a common dermatological condition characterized by hormonally-mediated sebum overproduction, follicular hyperkeratinization, and chronic inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit. Microbes, genetic susceptibilities, and various environmental factors have been linked to the pathogenesis of the condition. Over the last several years it...
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The healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae, has traditionally been defined as an internal healing response designed to restore health. Almost a century ago, famed biologist Sir John Arthur Thomson provided an additional interpretation of the word nature within the context of vis medicatrix, defining it instead as the natural, non-built ext...
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Dietary antioxidants play an important role against oxidation, an underlying mechanism in the incidence of chronic diseases. Greens+ is a commercially available preparation containing a variety of plant-derived ingredients. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the antioxidant potential of the methanolic extract of greens+ powder using in vi...
Article
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Over 70 years have passed since dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury first proposed a gastrointestinal mechanism for the overlap between depression, anxiety and skin conditions such as acne. Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and con...
Article
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Acne vulgaris is a common dermatological disorder, one that is frequently associated with depression, anxiety and other psychological sequelae. In recent years there has been an increasing focus on the extent to which oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of acne. Emerging studies have shown that patients with acne are under increased...
Article
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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is complex illness of unknown etiology. Among the broad range of symptoms, many patients report disturbances in the emotional realm, the most frequent of which is anxiety. Research shows that patients with CFS and other so-called functional somatic disorders have alterations in the intestinal microbial flora. Emerging...
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Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition, one that is associated with significant psychological disability. The psychological impairments in acne include higher rates of depression, anxiety, anger and suicidal thoughts. Despite a paucity of clinical research, patients with skin conditions and/or mental health disorders are frequent consumers of die...
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Research has demonstrated that the net acid load of the typical Western diet has the potential to influence many aspects of human health, including osteoporosis risk/progression; obesity; cardiovascular disease risk/progression; and overall well-being. As urinary pH provides a reliable surrogate measure for dietary acid load, this study examined wh...
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Dietary supplement use is widespread in developed nations. In particular, patients who utilize mental health services also report frequent consumption of dietary supplements, often in relation to management of adverse events and specifically weight gain. Weight gain induced by psychotropic medications can further compound psychological distress and...
Article
Acne vulgaris is a distressing skin condition which can carry with it significant psychological disability. Patients with acne are more likely to experience anger and are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation. Certain nutrients which have been implicated as influencing the pathophysiology of acne have also been identified as i...
Article
Primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE), or bed-wetting, is a distressing urinary condition which can persist through childhood and beyond. Altered prostaglandin and nitric oxide production have been observed in children with PNE, and prostaglandin inhibitors are known to be of therapeutic value. Omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to influence the sym...
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is an extremely complex and heterogeneous condition. Emerging research suggests that nutritional influences on MDD are currently underestimated. MDD patients have been shown to have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, increased oxidative stress, altered gastrointestinal (GI) function, and lowered micronutr...
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Omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in the development and function of the central nervous system. Emerging research is establishing an association between omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic) and major depressive disorder. Evidence from epidemiological, laboratory and clinical studies suggest that dietary l...
Article
Omega-3 fatty acids have been the subject of volumes of international research, the results of which indicate these substances may have therapeutic value in a number of medical conditions. An emerging area of research is examining the neurobehavioral aspects of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic) and the critica...
Article
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is complex illness with unknown aetiology. Recent research shows that patients with CFS have marked alterations in microbial flora, including lowered levels of bifidobacteria and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Research also indicates that CFS patients are under increased oxidative stress, have a type 2...
Article
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Recent investigations have shown that bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine is associated with a number of functional somatic disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. A number of controlled studies have shown that enteric-coated peppermint oil (ECPO) is of benefit in the treatment of IBS...

Citations

... They also have the power to be advocates and activists to address not only the existential threat to all of Earth's inhabitants, but particularly in countries or regions where colonization has marginalized Indigenous Peoples, students will also need to be allies, accomplices and co-conspirators [135] to ensure that traditional ways of doing, being and knowing inform clinical practice and that human rights are applied to policy decisions. For Prescott and colleagues, all these efforts must be underpinned by an intergenerational justice perspective, recognizing that tomorrow's health depends on the choices we make today [136]. This appears to be coming to pass, with young activists already prioritizing human rights in the climate change agenda [137]. ...
... This loss of 'positive' influences has also contributed to community breakdown, isolation, and despair ( Figure 1). The rise of social media has promoted a culture of superficial self-obsession, with a documented rise in collective narcissism and declining empathy [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]-with damaging consequences at scale [21]. Progressive degradation of physical environments, urban grey space (displacing greenspace), a more sedentary screen-based culture, and shifts towards more ultra-processed food and beverages have contributed to a slow-building global pandemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) over the past decades-including the exponential rise in mental health disorders. ...
... We considered the key personal and grass-roots tools that can facilitate this, including creativity, spirituality, mindfulness, and nature connection, by promoting self-awareness and building character strengths that increase mental and physical well-being [54,55]. In addition to direct personal benefits, the collective benefits can extend to more cohesive communities, wiser societies [56] with less polarization [57], and a stronger sustainability culture [55,58]. Indeed, addressing values and individual and collective mindsets is recognized as an essential dimension of global change in the 2022 Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...
... Climate change and disease risks, including AMR, are two of the most pressing challenges of the Anthropocene and cannot be considered in isolation [2]. Planetary Health is already deeply invested in identifying the complex links between climate change and zoonotic disease [3], to raising awareness of the intersection of Anthropocene risks in general [4,5,6] and argues for addressing global and intergenerational risks from AMR through a lens of planetary health ethics [7]. Other fields have also made such links explicit [8,9,10]. ...
... This 'relational' world view is at odds with the primarily 'transactional' nature of western culture. The dominant western narratives are grounded in exploitation, territorialism, overconsumption, and superficial short-term gratification with little regard for consequences [34,35]. We are immersed in predatory narratives with ulterior motives for power or profit-aimed at polarizing opinions through anger and fear, or simply enticing us to consume more products to feel better about ourselves [34]. ...
... 6 Already, the "Earthrise" photograph, taken on the 1968 Apollo 8 mission had begun to trigger a profound shift in environmental awareness and desire for human unity, which would inspire the first Earth Day in 1970, and give rise to large-scale social and environmental movements. 21 Dubos proposed that allergy could be considered a sentinel measure of planetary health-altered immune "reactivity" that reflects the state of the world around us. ...