Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eating meat may cause severe allergic reactions in some people

Meat allergies may be much more common than previously thought and may even induce potentially fatal anaphylaxis in some people, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia and presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in New Orleans.

The researchers tested three groups of people across the U.S. Southeast with a history of recurrent anaphylaxis without known cause for an immune reaction to alpha-gal, a kind of sugar found in mammal meat.

Although most allergic reactions are caused by proteins, scientists recently discovered that alpha-gal is responsible for anaphylactic reactions to cetuximab, a cancer drug. Further studies revealed that people who experience immune responses to alpha-gal also develop allergic symptoms within three to six hours of eating mammalian meat. Read more...

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