Worms and Flowers

Avocado:Latex Fruit Allergy-Part 5 of 5

Posted in Avocado by Lzyjo on June 19, 2009

Avocados are delicious anyway you choose to eat them, guacamole, Monterey burgers, or even on their own. Unfortunately some people, like my DH, are allergic of avocados. Our little furry friends are also vulnerable to Persin, a fungus-inhibiting toxin in the avocados that can harm pets if consumed in large quantities. People can also be allergic to this substance, but latex fruit allergy is more common.

Latex fruit allergy is triggered by the protein enzyme chitinase. In sensitive people it creates an allergic response by releasing histamine. For people like DH, symptoms set in immediately after ingestion, or up to one hour after ingestion as the body digests the proteins. Symptoms include severe stomach pain, nausea, skin irritation, breathing problems, and in the worst cases, anaphylactic shock. The ripening process, using ethylene gas, also increases the quantity of chitinase in the fruit, possibly increasing the chances for an allergic reaction. Other fruits that can cause the same type of allergic reaction are bananas, mangoes, papayas, and  chestnuts. Melons and tomatoes are also suspected. It’s also common to hear of people developing a reaction after increased consumption of certain fruits, for instance I’ve read posts about people becoming violently ill after eating one or more bananas for a number of consecutive days. The good news is, if you are allergic to the triggering fruits the reaction is usually abundantly clear and does not require a diagnoses to confirm.

On Monday I will be posting about growing avocados from seed. Stay tuned!