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Sesame Allergy: This seed packs a powerful punch!

Published on Mar 03, 2011 with 0 comment

imageThe sesame seed, tiny in size, represents a growing danger as a food that can cause severe allergic reactions.  Sesame is in a family of seeds that also includes poppy seed, flax seed, sunflower seed, buckwheat, mustard, and pine nut. In the entire family of seeds however, sesame causes majority of allergic reactions. And, the incidence of sesame allergy is on the rise.  This is likely due to the increase in popularity in the use of seeds, especially sesame, in the Mediterranean diet.

Sesame allergy shares many similar properties to peanuts and tree nuts in terms of its clinical allergy symptoms, severity, and persistence in symptoms.  Despite these similar characteristics, sesame is not considered one of the “big 8” food allergens, although it is now the second most common food allergen in Israel. Sesame allergy often presents by age two, but this is highly variable and is influenced by countries that feed their young a sesame rich diet.

Sesame is associated with life-threatening anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals.  Again, this is very similar to tree nut and peanut allergy, and sesame sensitive individuals are recommended to avoid any amount of contact, even one tiny seed.


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