Love banana, mango, kiwi, papaya or guava? Don’t we all. But for some, eating these super foods may be unknowingly undermining their health.
What is latex?
According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, latex is the protein found in the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree It can also refers to “natural rubber products” made from the sap and include:
- Rubber bands
- Condoms and diaphragms
- Rubber household gloves
- Rubber balls
- And more
What are latex cross reactive foods?
Some foods have proteins that are very close in structure to those found in the rubber tree sap.
According to the American Latex Allergy Association, “The association between latex sensitivity and food allergy is often referred to as the latex-fruit syndrome, although many vegetable foods have also been identified as possessing clinical and/or immunologic cross-reactivities with latex proteins.”
Latex reactive foods include nuts and fruit, particularly:
How does latex affect our health?
Immediate immune response
Latex mimicking foods has been shown to initiate an immune response in sensitive individuals. Note that only 20% to 60% of latex-allergic patients show an immediate immune reaction to these foods.
The foods shown in the chart from the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens from 2000, have been linked this allergenic response to latex in published reports. They believe that it is likely that other foods not yet identified here may also have some allergenic similarities to latex.
|I||Frequent and significant associations||Banana, avocado, kiwi, chestnut|
|II||Significant associations, but only described in certain studies||Potato, shellfish|
|III||Common associations, but the number of cases is not enough to reach significant levels||Papaya, tomato, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, fig, nuts (almond, hazelnut), stone fruits (peach, cherry, apricot), melon, apple|
|IV||Less common associations||Guava, fish, carrot, pear, strawberry, peanut, pepper, grape|
|V||Reported associations||Coconut, oregano, sage, dill, condurango bark, milk, spinach, beet, loquat|
Delayed immune response
For some, the immune response may be delayed. This is referred to as an immune sensitivity. It still imitates an immune response but it may be more mild and longer lasting, keeping the immune system upregulated. The buzz now is the link between the consumption of these foods and the increase in autoimmune issues.
What is the best way to test for latex issues?
The most effective method is a 1-2 month elimination diet to calm down the immune system. Food then can be reintroduced to determine if it still a problem for you.