Kiwi a Significant Food Allergen

Severe reactions seen in some who eat exotic fruit

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TUESDAY, July 13, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Kiwi fruit is a significant food allergen that can cause severe reactions, especially in young children who have other allergies.

That warning comes in a British study appearing in the July issue of the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy.

Kiwi fruit has been recognized as a food allergen for more than 20 years, but this is the first large, detailed study to specifically investigate the clinical characteristics of kiwi allergy in children and adults.

About 300 people answered a mailed questionnaire from researchers at the University of Southampton. Forty-five people who reported symptoms that indicated they might be allergic to kiwi were invited to be clinically tested. The tests revealed that about half of the 45 people were allergic to kiwi fruit.

Reactions included rash, vomiting and abdominal pain, sore mouth, and swelling of the lips, tongue, and face. The most severe reactions included breathing difficulties, wheezing, and collapse.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about food allergies.

SOURCE: University of Southampton, news release, July 2004

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