Livestrong.com: “What Foods Contain Latex?”

What Foods Contain Latex?

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2010 | By Robert Shifko

Consumption of bananas can provoke a latex allergy Photo Creditpicturegarden/Photodisc/Getty Images

Latex is a very common allergen. It can be acquired by individuals who have long-term exposure to latex, such as health care workers. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with latex allergy often experience skin rashes, itching, stuffy nose and difficulty breathing when exposed to latex. Many foods that we eat every day can provoke a latex allergy in latex-sensitive individuals. This happens due to a phenomenon called cross reaction, in which two or more products contain the same allergen and provoke the same response.

Fruits

According to PubMed.gov, several common fruits can initiate a latex allergic response. These fruits include bananas, avocado and kiwifruit. In addition, stone fruits such as plums, peaches and cherries can also provoke the identical allergic reaction. Researchers at the University of Vienna state this cross reactivity is due to IgE antibodies recognizing and acting upon several proteins with similar structures. The researchers state several proteins contained in these fruits are structurally similar to those found in latex.

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Vegetables

Several vegetables can also initiate a latex allergy, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Vegetables such as carrots, celery, raw potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers are among those that have cross reactive properties with latex. People who have a known allergy to latex have a very high probability of having an allergic response corresponding with consumption of these vegetables.

Nuts and Grains

According to the New York State Department of Health, a few nuts and grains can have cross reactive properties with latex. People with latex allergy should avoid consumption of raw chestnuts and hazelnuts as well as any product in which these nuts may be incorporated. Chestnuts and hazelnuts contain similar proteins as latex and may provoke an allergic reaction. In addition, people should be careful of products that contain wheat and rye. Wheat and rye also have similar proteins as latex and may cause an allergic response in latex-sensitive individuals.