|Barbara Rymarczyk, Joanna Glück, Barbara Rogala|
Introduction. Food additives used largely by food industry are often believed to elicit clinical disorders with the participation of all known mechanisms of hypersensitivity.
Aim. Assess prevalence of hypersensitivity to food additives, relationship between food additive hypersensitivity and atopy and the efficacy of the additive restriction diet in adults.
Material and methods. Ninety subjects (53 women, 37 men, mean age 47±8.4 yrs) with self reported hypersensitivity to food additives. Each of them underwent skin prick tests with the most common inhalant and food allergens. After that they started a 7-day additive-free diet. Patients who mostly benefited from the diet underwent an oral provocation with food additives. Subjects with positive provocation test were ordered a 3-month diet with limited amounts of food additives. After that time the clinical state of the patients was reevaluated.
Results. According to the results of skin prick tests, 8 subjects (8.9%) were atopic. The most common patients’ complaints were: urticaria (n=53; 58.9%) and angioedema with urticaria (n=12; 13.3%). The most offensive foods were: packaged meats (n=23; 25.6%) and artificially colored beverages (n=21; 23.3%). Beneficial influence of the 7-day additive-free diet was observed in 27 (30%) subjects. Positive results of oral challenge with food additives were found in 9 patients (10%). Persistent positive effect of the 3-month additive-limited diet was not observed.
Conclusions: The true incidence of hypersensitivity to food additives is lower than the incidence reported in the interview. Atopy is not a risk factor for food hypersensitivity. Consumption of food additives rarely is the sole cause of persistent ailments.
keywords: dodatki spożywcze, nadwrażliwość pokarmowa, food additives, food hypersensitivity
pages: from 35 to 41
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