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Beef Allergy

Posted Nov 02 2010 4:26pm

I was looking at a study that used an elimination diet to improve Sjögren syndrome.  In the abstract, it stated:

"In March 2009, she commenced an elimination diet protocol, eliminating gluten, beef, eggs, dairy products, nightshade vegetables, refined sugars, and citrus fruit for 4 months."

I can understand why most of the foods were eliminated, but it struck me as odd that they would restrict beef.  I wondered - is anyone allergic or intolerant of red meat?

I quickly found out that a small percentage are.  This new study sheds some light on the subject, looking at a sample of patients with allergies:

"IgE antibodies specific for citric fruits, tomato, cows milk, chickens egg and wheat were also determined. Beef was the predominant allergenic food in the whole population, not only for IgE (57.6 percent; P less than 0.001), but also for IgG and IgA isotypes (53.6 percent and 34.0 percent, respectively, P less than 0.001)."

Wow, beef was more allergic than wheat or dairy?  That's surprising.  Removing beef seemed to help things:

"All allergic patients, including those showing only IgG and IgA antibodies, significantly ameliorated their symptoms, and their levels of beef-specific antibodies were considerably reduced in response to a cow meat exclusion diet."

The abstract goes on to show that patients with asthma couldn't tolerate beef even after a period of exclusion:

"While patients with gastrointestinal or skin allergic diseases were capable of tolerating beef following an established period of diet exclusion, asthmatic patients experienced a relapse of symptoms and showed a considerable increase in IgE, IgG and IgA-specific antibodies when re-challenged with a beef-enriched diet. Thus, beef-specific IgG and IgA antibodies coexist with IgE antibodies in sera from allergic patients and are significantly associated with the clinical course of allergic disorders, particularly asthma."

I am trying to track down the full-text of this study for more details.

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