What is soy allergy?
Soy allergy is one of the most common food allergies . This is an adverse, immune-mediated reaction which arises after the dietary intake of the seeds or derivatives of Glycine max (Fabaceae family); as we shall see, the severity of symptoms varies.
Note : Highly refined soybean oil is exempt from mentioning the presence of allergens on the label. This is because it does not contain traces of proteins , which are the agents responsible for the immune reactions to soy.
Allergy to soy in the population
Soy allergy occurs mainly in infants and children; about 0.4% of young people are allergic to the seeds of this legume. G.
Epidemiological studies indicate that soy allergy generally appears in childhood, but resolves spontaneously by the third year of life. By the tenth year, almost all babies are no longer sensitive to food.
Note : Contrary to what one might expect, soy allergy does not increase the risk of allergy to other legumes ( beans , peas , chickpeas , lentils , lupins , peanuts, etc.).
Soy allergy symptoms
The most common symptoms of soy allergy are:
- Skin rashor hives
- Itchingin the mouth
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Stuffyor runny nose
- Wheezingor asthma
In some rare cases , anaphylaxis may appear , a life-threatening reaction consisting of:
- Swelling of the throat
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Reduction of ventilation
Soy allergy prophylaxis
The most important preventive measure is the elimination of soy and all foods that contain it from the diet; to do this, in addition to avoiding whole soybeans , it is necessary to carefully consult the nutritional labels of packaged products, also excluding its derivatives.
The allergic reactions to soy are typically mild, but in a smaller part of the cases, there may be rather severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis. It is vital that, at any time, allergic people can quickly resort to self-injection of epinephrine ( adrenaline ) to counteract anaphylactic shock .
Diagnosis of soy allergy
The diagnosis of soy allergy is made by an allergy specialist. After reviewing the subject’s medical history , he will proceed with a brief physical examination. You may ask to fill in a food diary , not only noting what is consumed, but also what symptoms occur after meals. In addition, the specialist may order a skin test or blood test to check for the presence of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to soy proteins .
In the skin test, it comes into contact with the skin (on the backor on the forearm) a small amount of a liquid containing soy protein, which is then “punched” with a sterile probe to allow it to penetrate the skin . The presence of swelling and redness within 15-20 ‘may indicate the presence of allergy.
In the blood test the presence of IgE antibodies is looked for , the concentration of which will be measured and reported with a numerical data.
If these two tests are not enough, the allergist can prescribe a food test. Under medical supervision, the person undergoes a test in which they will ingest small amounts of soy to exacerbate any symptoms.
Importance of soy in the diet
Soy is a food of great economic and commercial value. Due to its countless advantages and uses, this plant is grown and processed in every corner of the planet.
In the oriental gastronomic culture, soy is an inevitable ingredient of every meal; many of its derivatives ( flour , proteins, lecithins, etc.) are essential for the packaging of processed foods , which is why it is widely used in the West as well.
In the United States, the extent of its diffusion in commercial products is such that completely removing it from the diet requires the intervention of a dietician.
Allergy to soy: foods to avoid
For those allergic to soy it is strictly necessary to avoid the following foods:
- Soy derivatives: albumin,soy, soy cheese , fiber soy flour soy, soy ice cream , soy milk , bean sprouts , soy yogurt .
- Curdand / or soy granules
- Soy protein (concentrated, hydrolyzed, insulating)
- Soy sauce
- Structured vegetable protein(DVT)
Soy can also be contained in the food if the label shows the following:
- Asian cuisine
- Vegetable gum
- Vegetable starch
- Vegetable broth.
Foods that “unexpectedly” contain soy:
- Bakery products
- Tunaand canned meat
- Cerealfor Breakfast
- Energyor high protein bars
- Various types of snacks
- Formulas for babies
- Low- fat peanut butter
- Processed meats
- Saucesand soups .
Note : This last list offers some examples of products in which traces of soy were unexpectedly found; however, this is not necessarily always present.