Soybeans belong to the legume family (Leguminaceae), which also includes foods such as peas, lentils, and beans. Currently, this plant is given full use, especially due to the increased consumption of food products of oriental origin. Therefore, the soy allergy it has been increasing in recent years.
Some products that use soy among its ingredients:
- Asian Foods
- Meat substitutes
- Sauces (Worcestershire and mayonnaise)
- Artificial flavourings
- Vegetable and starch broths
- Fillings in processed meat
- Frozen food
The soy allergy it happens when our immune system “confuses” the proteins present in this food with harmful elements, increasing the production of antibodies and releasing a substance from the immune system known as histamines. The presence of this compound is what triggers the allergic reaction.
According to various medical sources, milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, wheat, shellfish and soy are the cause of 90% of allergic reactions in the Western world. Soy allergy usually starts from the age of 3, although it can also disappear if the body achieves its vegetable proteins.
Symptoms of soy allergy
The symptoms of a soy allergy are usually mild, although there are also some complications.
- Intestinal pain
- Diarrheic processes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive runny nose and shortness of breath
- Itching in the gastric tract and swelling of the contact area.
- Skin reactions
- In severe cases, anaphylactic shock
Foods containing soy
Soy milk is a drink whose consumption is increasing, looking for the obtaining vegetable proteins. However, 15% of babies who take it suffer allergic reactions to soy. Hence, alternatives are sought with hypoallergenic formulations (where proteins have been broken down).
Keep in mind that the soy milk also contains carrageenan, a food additive that is in the crosshairs of many clinical trials.
The soy lecithin is a non-toxic food additive. It is used in foods that require a thickener or emulsifier. This additive controls the process of crystallization of sugar in chocolate, increasing the shelf life of many products.
It usually has a fairly low allergen profile, so there are people who suffer from allergy to soy but not to soy lecithin. The causes of this is that lecithin contains a much lower amount of protein than the original product. [Additional Information]
Soy sauce is commonly used to add to oriental food (rice, noodles or sushi, among others). The problem is that in the preparation of the sauce an ingredient such as wheat is also strained.
The concentration of protein is high, so if we suffer from soy allergy, it is most likely that this sauce causes us some allergic reaction. Not only because of soy protein, but also because of processes derived from additional ingredients, including wheat, peanuts, cow’s milk or other additives.
In fact, up to 28 proteins that can cause allergy have been identified in soy.
Read more: Nutrients you can’t get from vegetables
Medical diagnosis and testing
There are some medical tests to confirm soy allergy, as usual and is commonly done in other foods that cause allergic processes.
- Elimination diet. With this, you avoid eating any ingredient containing soy for 2 weeks and then slowly add it to the feed, recording any abnormalities or symptoms.
- Skin puncture. a drop of the suspected allergen is added to the skin and a needle is used to prick the top layer of skin so that the allergen can enter the skin. If you suffer from soy allergy, swelling and redness will most likely appear.to the area, similar to the bite of a mosquito.
- Radioallergosorbent test (RAST). Blood tests are sometimes done on babies under the age of one because their skin does not react to puncture tests. This RAST test looks at the amount of IgE antibodies present in the blood.
- Food challenge test. A food challenge is considered to be one of the best ways to detect food allergies. Increasing amounts of soy proteins are administered under medical observation.
Specific treatments for soy allergy
There are no treatments to eliminate soy allergy, except palliatives once we have suffered the reaction, such as antihistamines, painkillers and skin products.
The most effective and simple remedy is to limit the consumption of soy and all its derivatives.