Latex allergy and food
Latex allergic people may experience allergic symptoms when they eat certain fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Latex is extracted from the sap from the gum tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Latex especially is used to produce rubber gloves and catheters. Balloons and condoms also are produced from latex.
Some people are allergic towards latex. Proteins remaining in the latex products after curing the rubber cause the allergic reaction. The symptoms of latex allergy after skin contact are typically immediate redness and swelling.
Cross-reactions may occur between the residual parts of plant proteins in the latex rubber and proteins in foods just like cross-reactions between pollen and foods. The most commonly reported cross-reactive foods include banana, avocado, kiwi, and chestnut together with papaya, fig, potato, and tomato. Around 30-80% of people with latex allergy experience symptoms when they eat one or more of these foods.
Chapter on cross-reactivity of food allergens:
- Chapman JA et al. (2006). “Food allergy: a practice parameter.” Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 96, S1-S68.
The InformAll Database: