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. 

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! The proteins involved are different. LTPs are stable and resistant to high temperatures and to our gastric juices. Even when processed they can still cause severe reactions such as anaphylaxis.

However, it is important to note that being diagnosed with LTP allergy doesn’t automatically mean being unable to eat any food that contains LTP. It is important to be followed by an allergy doctor and work with a qualified nutritional therapist to discuss the safest and healthiest options available for you. Remember, reactions to LTP foods are highly individual. Some of us might tolerate a large number of LTP containing foods, some others might react to most of them. Some might be able to eat a fruit only if peeled (the peel contains high concentration of LTP) and others might need to avoid them completely. 

Often the foods that trigger the worst symptoms apart from peach, are those related to the peach family, so apples, pears, cherries, apricots, plums… but also tree nuts, chestnuts, cabbage, the list goes on.

Environmental allergies are also possible.

Whatever the condition, I believe in the importance to keep our body as clean as possible. If your body is fighting allergies, for example, 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 in top shape. So, whilst it is important to have the condition properly diagnosed and be guided by an allergy doctor, a nutritionist can be of invaluable help when it comes to improving your diet, working with the foods that are best for you, and keep a healthy gut.


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