The latex family of plants contains enzymes that help defend it from bacteria, fungi, etc. But the buzz now is the link between the consumption of latex foods and autoimmune issues. Several studies have demonstrated that between 20% to 60% of latex-allergic patients show IgE immune reactions to a wide variety of foods (mainly fruits), in particular bananas, avocados, kiwis, and chestnuts.
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.”
The foods shown in the chart from the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens from 2000, have been linked with an 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|
In my clinical practice, we have had success with removing banana, mango, kiwi, papaya, and guava. I just don’t have the heart to remove avocado as it is such a wonderful fat.