Allergies and Diet

Discussing Allergies and Diet With Dr. Mike Hollie

Michael C. Hollie, MD is a practicing physician board certified in Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology. He received his undergraduate degree from the College of Idaho. Dr. Hollie attended Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California, and received his medical degree in 1985.

He currently practices with The Allergy and Asthma Group of Galen in the Chattanooga, TN area. Dr. Hollie is a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga Unit. He is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Dr. Hollie is the speaker for “Dinner with the Doctor” (DWTD), an instructional program developed to educate people about how to implement a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) approach for treating, preventing, and reversing disease. DWTD ( offers programs consisting of a health presentation along with a tasty, no-oil, WFPB meal served to the attendees. DWTD also offers oil-free, WFPB food preparation demonstrations to allow participants to see first-hand how they can cook healthy meals at home. The program is offered to the community and has multiple locations throughout the Chattanooga, TN area and North Georgia region. Dr. Hollie is also the speaker for Dinner with the Doctor in Romania.

Dr. Hollie was the medical consultant for, and also appears in the documentary Eating You Alive. Eating You Alive features leading medical experts and researchers taking a scientific look at the reasons we’re so sick, who’s responsible for feeding us the wrong information, and how we can use simple, whole food, plant-based nutrition to take control of our health. 

Dr. Hollie is a board member of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Dr. Hollie and his wife Cindy Ford Hollie, MD have two adult sons and the entire family embraces the WFPB approach to eating and health.

A Holistic View of Health

Exercise is important, but it is not the sum total of health. An active lifestyle, combined with proper nutrition, sleep, and other wellness factors all contribute to a person’s overall health.

Cow Milk Intolerance

Intolerance to cow’s milk, and dairy in general, comes in many forms. Lactose intolerance is the form most people think of, but some people have a sensitivity to milk proteins or fats themselves. Others have an issue with mucous when drinking cow milk, having to excessively clear their throats or blow their noses.

For the latter two groups, lactose intolerance products such as Lactaid milk are ineffective, since the lactose isn’t necessarily causing the reaction.

Allergy vs Sensitivity

There is an important distinction between allergies and sensitivities. In the case of allergies, our immune system causes the reaction to a substance. 

For food sensitivities, there is no immune response, but rather a reaction triggered by the digestive system.

Hygiene Hypothesis

The hygiene hypothesis is a framework that suggests that the increasing prevalence of allergic and autoimmune diseases in modern societies is linked to reduced exposure to infectious agents during childhood.

According to this hypothesis, exposure to a diverse array of bacteria and viruses during early childhood is crucial for the development of a healthy immune system that can differentiate between self and non-self and mount appropriate immune responses against harmful pathogens.

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