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Allergy to Vegetable Oil Components Seen in Children

Common vegetable oil plants can cause atopic dermatitis flare-up

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Turnip and oilseed rape are common plants used in vegetable oil production and should be added to the list of potential food allergens for children with atopic dermatitis, according to a study in the January issue of Allergy.

Sanna Poikonen, of Tampere University Hospital in Finland, and colleagues performed skin prick and oral challenge tests in a group of Finnish children under 16 years of age who were referred to the hospital's department of dermatology for food allergy evaluation between April 2002 and April 2004. Around 70% were diagnosed with atopic dermatitis.

The investigators found that of 1,887 children screened by skin prick tests, 206 (10.9%) tested positive for either turnip or oilseed rape. The researchers selected 28 children who were clearly positive for the skin prick test and subjected them to labial or oral challenge. Twenty-five (89%) of these had a positive challenge reaction, which included labial whealing, facial urticaria, atopic dermatitis flare-up or abdominal symptoms.

"Turnip rape and oilseed rape seem to be new important food allergens in young children with atopic dermatitis," the authors conclude. "An oral route seems obvious for sensitization, but the food sources and clinical consequences of this new allergy are challenges for future research," they add.

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