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Spice, Spice Baby

Posted Jan 10 2011 7:43pm

I was reading through a new study on migraine headaches.  Food has been known to play a role in migraines.  Subjects were tested for reactions to certain foods.  The category with the most positive skin prick test results was spices.

Table 1.
The food categories from most frequent IgG positivity to least
 Number of patients with positive test result (n = 30)
Spices 27
Seeds and nuts 24
Seafood 24
Starch 22
Food additives 21
Vegetables 21
Cheese 20
Fruits 20
Sugar products 20
Other additives 14
Eggs 14
Milk and milk products 14
Infusions 13
Salads 10
Mushrooms 9
Yeast 5
Meat 5
From: Cephalalgia. 2010 July; 30(7): 829–837.

The authors found that avoiding the offending foods helped lower migraines:

"We also calculated if the patient showed at least a 30% reduction and at least a 50% reduction for attack count and number of headache days using elimination diet compared to provocation diet and to the baseline period."

I thought this was an interesting result given the almost universal dietary advice to use spices.  Even the newest Paleo books say to use spices. 

What would cause spices to be so allergenic?  I don't know, but allergies to spices have been previously reported .  Hopefully, there will be more research on this subject.
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