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Topic: Common elements question (food allergy related)  (Read 2463 times)

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Lexalotacus

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Common elements question (food allergy related)
« on: January 25, 2015, 11:17:51 PM »
Hey everyone I apologize if this is in the wrong spot but I kind of need some help here.. I have a rather interesting question that I think you chemistry buffs might be able to sort out.. I've seen 4 different doctors and they have yet to provide any clarity on a potential food allergy puzzle I'm working through. Basically, I have severe stomach pain when I eat raw tree nuts, raw avocado, and some melons like honeydew.. I was wondering chemically what they all have in common and possibly try to narrow down what's happening in my body (chemical reaction to allergens?)
My healthcare only helps so much and I would like to educate myself so if anyone can contribute to my quest you would become a hero in my book! Oh and I have a friend who deals with similar issues that this might also help.. Thanks so much!

PS - oddly enough when I eat roasted nuts I don't seem to have as severe if any reaction to them.. Hmmmm

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: Common elements question (food allergy related)
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 11:31:41 PM »
This forum does not give medical advice for legal reasons


Offline Arkcon

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Re: Common elements question (food allergy related)
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 05:45:22 AM »
I was wondering chemically what they all have in common and possibly try to narrow down what's happening in my body (chemical reaction to allergens?)

Complex mixtures, such as foods, are almost impossible to understand in terms of "elements."  You may mean typical components, that are mostly unknowns (i.e.  you may define elements as proteins or sugars or the like, which are too varied to be understood in a forum posting), or you may define elements as chemical elements of the periodic table.  The latter choice is similarly barking up the wrong tree -- chemical elements are practically all the same across living matter, and they're not, in and of themselves, allergens.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Furanone

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Re: Common elements question (food allergy related)
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 09:15:18 AM »
The main food allergens are all due to the unique protein content they contain with the major exception being sulfites (sometimes added to wine and other foods as a preservative). The eight main food allergens are milk, eggs, soy wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts & other nuts, and typically if a food is served where the protein content of these foods has been substantially removed, the allergy will be gone or not be as severe (eg butter from milk mostly milkfat). This may explain your reaction to nuts & avocado, but cantaloupe melons and most fruits & vegetables are typically very low protein content (cantaloupe has about 0.8% protein) since these are made mostly of water (~80-95%). basic sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose), and insoluble & soluble fiber (cellulose, pectin, etc.). This does not mean you are not allergic to cantaloupe, only it is more rare, and likely not related to an allergy of nuts.

When the nuts are roasted and your symptoms seem less severe, this could be because the heat treatment when roasting the nuts may denature or partially denature the proteins changing their conformation and making them less reactive since binding sites may no longer 'fit'.

Another possibility is that it may not be an allergy per se, but the unique microflora you have in your intestines are going crazy with these certain foods you eat and producing excessive gas from the 'fermentation' and this is causing the pain due to high gas pressure causing bloating and discomfort. This is what is happening for people who are lactose intolerant and consume milk products. Since they lack the lactase enzyme to break lactose into glucose and galactose to be absorbed, it gets passed through and gut bacteria then 'ferment' it and the gas byproducts cause intestinal pain and possibly diarrhea.

Another possibility
"The true worth of an experimenter consists in pursuing not only what he seeks in his experiment, but also what he did not seek."

--Sir William Bragg (1862 - 1942)

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