Allergy to garlic or allium species is extremely rare but should not be underestimated. Owing to the high consumption of garlic around the world, it should be included in the diagnostic food allergy battery.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the most common spices used in many cuisines around the world as well as in traditional medicine. Different varieties of garlic are mainly categorized into the hard neck and soft neck variety. Garlic producing countries include Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe and North and South America with China as a leading producer.
The active properties of garlic are attributed to pungent volatile oil (0.1%) rich in sulfide compounds. The major route of exposure is contact with raw garlic while hypersensitivity is also seen with ingestion or inhalation of garlic dust (secondary exposure route). Garlic is a known type I allergen which also causes allergic contact dermatitis.
Clinical manifestations of garlic allergy include a broad spectrum of diseases ranging from gastrointestinal symptoms to contact dermatitis, urticaria, occupational asthma or even anaphylaxis. Clinically relevant allergy to garlic is attributed to the presence of alliin lyase (major allergen) and low molecular weight component diallyl disulfide in raw garlic. These allergens are found to be heat labile and thus cooked garlic shows less allergenicity. These allergens show significant cross-reactivity to other members of Amaryllidaceae family-like onion, leek, shallot and chives. Prevention or avoidance of the food items containing garlic is the best method to reduce or prevent allergenic responses.
Widespread cross-reactivity among different members of the Liliaceae family has been described. Alliin lyase, a major garlic allergen, was found homologous to alliin lyases found in onion, leek and shallot from the same family. Allergic cross-reactivity has also been shown among members of the Liliaceae family and grass pollen antigens.
Remove this item from your diet or minimize your exposure to it.
Elevated levels of IgG/IgA reaction to a certain food does not necessarily mean you have an intolerance, but research shows that by eliminating foods that cause an the reaction, you can potentially improve certain food-related symptoms - including gastrointestinal distress, headaches, dry and itchy skin, and fatigue. Please keep in mind that reactivity does not necessarily correlate directly with symptoms, so your results are meant to guide you through the next steps of the process.
Elimination of IgG/IgA positive foods may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, AD(H)D, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy, according to numerous clinical studies.
IgG/IgA food test results are often used to develop food antibody-guided exclusion/ elimination diets. The implementation of such diets has been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with nonceliac gluten sensitivity and food sensitivity-induced atopic conditions, reduce the frequency of migraine headaches, decrease the occurrence of diarrhea, decrease failure-to-thrive among children with cystic fibrosis, reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, improve rectal compliance, decrease stool frequency in Crohn’s disease, prevent seizures and hyperkinetic behavior in children with epilepsy, and ameliorate kidney function in glomerulonephritis. Food elimination diets also hold promise for the improvement of behaviors associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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