Allergies to fruit and veg? It could be LTP.

What is it?

LTP stands for lipid transfer protein and is indeed a protein found in most, if not all, plant foods. Allergy to this protein is more common in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain.

The allergy often starts with sensitivity to the LTP of peach, called Prup3, this protein cross reacts with the LTPs contained in other foods, so it can spread not only to foods closely related to peach such as apples, plums, apricots, cherries etc., but also garlic, onions, strawberry, lettuce, hazelnut, cabbage and more!

Why are cross reactions such a huge issue with LTP allergy? Because LTPs are panallergens and often present a similar molecular structure with each other. This is the true nightmare of this condition.

Because this allergy affects such a large number of fruit and vegetables it is often confused with pollen food allergy syndrome or OAS (oral allergy syndrome) it’s not the same though! LTPs are stable and resistant to high temperatures, they can be processed and can still cause severe reactions such as anaphylaxis. On the other hand, severe reactions to cooked fruit and vegetables with OAS is often less likely.

However, even if diagnosed with LTP allergy, just because a food contains LTP it doesn’t mean that that it needs to be cut out. It is important to be followed by your allergy doctor and to discuss your options in the safest and healthiest way possible. Reactions to LTP foods are highly individual. Some foods might be better tolerated than others and often those ones that trigger more symptoms, apart from peach, are those closely related to the peach family, so apples, pears, cherries, apricots, plums… and often tree nuts, chestnuts, cabbage, the list goes on. Environmental allergies are also possible.

Whatever the condition, as a nutritionist it makes sense to me to keep your body as clean as possible. If your body is fighting allergies, that alone is hard work. Some allergens especially, can be difficult to completely avoid, so in order to let your body do the job as best as it can and to keep inflammation down it needs to be kept clean, this means clean diet, organic preferably and stay well hydrated.

Sure, we can’t avoid all toxins (environmental for example), but that’s even more of a reason to do what we can to balance our health!

Apart from avoiding the triggers, as well as keeping the diet as healthy and clean as possible, there are studies on how some specific probiotic strains can help with allergies, here are the links, they are worth a read:

Various effects of different probiotic strains in allergic disorders: an update from laboratory and clinical data

Peanut allergy could be cured with probiotics

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