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Health food junkie?  Watch out for lupine allergy

Published on Feb 15, 2011 with 0 comment

imageLupines, or lupins, are common garden plants found commonly in South America, western North America, in the Mediterranean area, and in Africa. The seeds produced on the lupine plant are members of the legume family and therefore related to peanuts, soy, and peas.

In the last few years, lupine ingestion has been recognized as a cause of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. In the occupational setting, inhalation of lupine flour may also produce rhinitis and asthma symptoms. Cross-reactivity between foods in the legume family is rare, but several studies have demonstrated significant cross-reactivity between peanut and lupine.

Lupinus albus is the species most widely cultivated for food. In some Mediterranean countries, dried lupine is a traditional snack. In Europe, lupine is manufactured as a flour and bran, or is used as an additive to wheat flour. It is commonly used in the preparation breads, pasta, and other bakery products. Lupine is also used as an alternative to soy flour. It is said to boost protein and fiber in food. Lupine can be found in health food stores.

Although not a frequent cause of severe allergic reactions in the U.S., lupine does have the potential for mild or severe allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.


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