oral allergy syndrome

Posted on: Tue, 02/19/2002 - 4:25am
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Some foods make my daughter's mouth itch like carrots and apples. I believe the name is "oral allergy syndrome". Anyway she changed teachers today because of too many substitutes in the other classroom (resulting in the school nurse injecting her and the rescue squad taking her to the emergency room.) Going over procedures with the new teacher I recalled how difficult it is to explain the itchy mouth vs. the mouth sensations that occur as part of the first signs of anaphylactic reaction. When I got home I called Food Allergy network and asked if anyone ever correlated this with glutamate (MSG in compounds like Auxigro) that have been sprayed on produce for the last few years. (browse: truthinlabeling.org) The Food Allergy rep said "Oh no, it's a protein in the food that causes the mouth to itch, they've done alot of research and I can send it to you." I said just because someone paid for research and paid to have it printed and circulated doesn't make it true. (browse [url="http://www.msgfacts.net./update-11-7-01.html"]www.msgfacts.net./update-11-7-01.html[/url] and also nomsg.com and truthinlabeling.org)
While I was talking to her I got the idea to test my daughter with home grown carrots that have never been sprayed. After I hung up I remembered we had some in our garden that were never harvested, long story--so I ran out dug them up, cleaned them, tasted them (delicious) took them to the school, had the nurse stand in for this auspicious moment in research! and gave them to her. No itchy mouth, no reaction. Hmmmm? Just another of those infuriating details of life in this century. Although it's horrendous that our children are putting up with these deathly allergies; crops are allowed to be sprayed with compounds that totally complicate the issue of-- Should I inject? or-- Should the caretaker inject? You might say that this was just one trial--yep--but store bought carrots make her mouth and tongue itch. Another friend who has a peanut allergy child had the same problem with carrots, apples, etc.
If our little test today proves exactly what I feel it does, our exquisitely sensitive children are just acting as barometers for compounds that none of us should be ingesting, compounds that are really complicating life for the allergic child, schools, medical facilities and parents.
Write the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Biopesticides and your legislators.

[This message has been edited by vrtu1 (edited February 27, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/20/2002 - 11:05pm
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Just wanted to clarify that my daughter is anaphylactic for peanut, shellfish, and amoxicillin; the oral allergy syndrome is another health issue for her, not her main allergy problem. Also the syndrome is "oral allergy syndrome", I found my reference material on it. Sorry about the spelling errors in yesterday's message,I had places to go yesterday and was rushing.

Posted on: Thu, 02/21/2002 - 6:57am
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I can explain the molecular mechanism of what you might be seeing. I am an ex chemistry prof, so I hope that makes me a decent source of information! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Oral allergy syndrome may only flare up a few weeks of the year... this is because the mechanism seems to be that fundamentally the allergic individual has a pollen allergy- say to birch tree pollen, for example (this is the most common instance of the syndrome)... whenever birch pollen is in the air, the person's immune system may be revved up enough on that kind of IgE that apples (which have a protein in them which is analogous to one in birch pollen) will cause the nasty mouth itching. BUT.... when the person is scratch tested or challenged with apple in a couple of months, nothing.
IgE levels may be indicative of a problem with apple year round, however. We have concluded that this may be why our dd's apple IgE values are elevated, though she experiences no clinical symptoms of allergy to them. Some people experience the syndrome regardless of pollen levels. The bottom line is that you might have to try your carrot experiment a few times at different times during pollen season. It is a similar phenomenon to cross reactivity, really.
Anyway- I don't know about the MSG hypothesis... as I bioanalytical chemist, I have to be honest and tell you that the only way that MSG could possibly cause a problem is with a mild metabolic intolerance of some sort (like PKU but less severe), since glutamate is a native amino acid which everyone makes and uses naturally...(Hope that doesn't make 'ya mad)I am not saying this isn't possible- clearly some people do have this metabolic anomoly. (Like lactose intolerance, perhaps.)
As far as reading research- yes, I agree. Not all of what you read is other than garbage, to be polite! (Especially true on the internet, so carefully check to see if a statement has a real, contactable author!) But with that said, having spent many years in the publishing/research track, I can tell you that most major journals (like JAMA, NEJM, and the Lancet) will not publish biased or poorly conducted research. The reason is that these publications are "peer reviewed" prior to publication. The reviewers (your colleagues, friends and competition) attack every aspect of the research- trust me. Scientists LOVE to prove eachother stupid or wrong. (Sick, I know- they are like sharks at feeding time at a national conference!) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] What this means isn't that conclusions you read are CORRECT... but at least it's reasonable to think they could be, if you see the difference.
Shannon

Posted on: Fri, 02/22/2002 - 2:42am
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Thank you for your input. What I love about the internet is all the information that one can explore-- then assimilate or discard. It's invigorating.
The MSG issue is extremely complex because of the billion$ of dollars involved.
I have done several years of extensive internet and non-internet research on MSG(Manufactured Free Glutamic Acid) which has led me to conclude--that anyone who cites the safety of MSG for use on vertebrates has not done enough researching. Bad $cience is part of the MSG problem, browse [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]http://www.truthinlabeling.org/l-manuscript.htm)
Yes, free glutamic acid is found in our bodies but that does not mean that millions of tons of "government allowed" and food & glutamate industry supplied MSG should be dumped into our food supply or sprayed on crops several times during the growing season,elevating blood levels. There are more receptors for gluatmic acid throughout the brain and body than for any other neurotransmitter, we shouldn't be constantly bombarding them with unnatural amounts of unbound glutamic acid.
As for the pollen experiments with the oral allergy syndrome re-read what you wrote about some people experiencing it irregardless of the pollen levels. Pollen levels are not at the root of this problem.
An oriental friend of ours said that when she was young they would put MSG crystals on their tongues and it would make them tingle. Enough said for the effect MSG can have on mouth structures.
Another acquaintance who worked for the NIH said that unwanted dogs were regularly dispatched in her country of origin by putting MSG in hamburger and offering it to the dog.
A conference was held at the National Institutes of Health in May of 1998 to look for glutamate antagonists for the "Glutamate Cascade" of diseases related to glutamate and the central nervous system.
Migraines, asthma, heart arrythmias, MS, insulin release, rage, ADH, learning problems,macular dengeration, tintinitus, and over 98 other documented health disorders are triggered by MSG ingestion or related to years of ingesting it. The adverse effects are cumulative.
The 1st stop for non-glutamate industry sponsored information would be the following websites:
Truthinlabeling.org
MSGMyth.com
MsgTruth.org
NoMSG.com
and for the scoop on aspartame visit
dorway.com
Research glutamate and neuroprotective agents- you'll find that cannabidiol compounds block glutamate neurotoxicity, which is probably why we are being denied non-pharmaceutical acce$$ to these also.
To think I got into all of this because of my daughter's peanut allergy. Hmmm? Peanuts, proteins, amino acids, histamine, neurotransmitter response, glutamate interference, makes you pause doesn't it?

Posted on: Fri, 02/22/2002 - 9:10am
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I try very hard to be respectful of what other people think, since I know that ignorance is the cause of a lot of misconceptions. I initially included my own academic credentials to back up what I am saying, but decided that was probably arrogant of me and edited them out.
When you can't understand the research methodology in an appropriate context, you're much more likely to fall victim to pseudo-science. Naturally, most of these websites will assure you that "the mainstream" is a lying bunch of conspirators, since otherwise what they have to say is thoroughly outrageous (claims of allergy to things like iron and oxygen, to cite just one example). There is a good reason that science is published in print and NOT (generally) on the internet. I speak from experience. Discarding/assimilating information based on how well it fits your preconcieved notions is well within your rights, but don't try to pass it off as good "research" practice! It is true that the internet is a real boon this way, though! I could no doubt find a few web sites supporting a contention that the sun will not come up tomorrow morning. When you go looking for a particular answer to a question you have, you are unlikely to see anything but what you are looking for- thus your certainty that your daughter's problem is MSG related in spite of what you have been told by the mainstream. It is true that not all that should be known about any food additive ever is. Please don't try the "conspiracy theory" with all of the research apparatus in mainstream science, food technology, and medicine, however. Who exactly is in on it? If there were one, don't you think it would be pretty obvious that all of the scientists and doctors would be doing things radically differently than the average Joe?
The monumental majority of research on MSG and allergy is funded not from corporations with financial gains at stake, but from our government (largely from NIH, EPA, and NIDA) and private foundations without ties to any corporation (The Pew Charitable Trust is an example), and is conducted at Universities and medical schools. This is not true, obviously, for prescription drug trials or patented materials- but even those studies are strictly overseen by independent review boards. I understand that to an outsider, the research process appears haphazard at best, but it does result in some pretty amazing discoveries that save a lot of lives.
If you don't trust your allergist's expert opinion on the subject, then why not take over medical treatments yourself? Not to be mean, but I notice that when push comes to shove, you do at least trust the "establishment" enough to have your child treated appropriately by the emergency room physicians. What seems ironic to me is how most people who are pretty critical and suspicious of the scientific establishment aren't willing to go the distance with that set of beliefs when they stand to reap some of its benefits.
Please do not deliberately misinterpret what I said in order to support what you have already decided. (I am disgusted that you considered what you tried to be a well-considered "experiment," by the way- and I was merely pointing out that you have multiple uncontrolled variables as well as no "control". I was trying to be civil about that, however.) Whether or not the pollen levels have an effect on the oral allergy syndrome is likely to be related to whether the individual has seasonal or year round environmental allergies and to how well they are controlled. Many clinicians liken this to adding liquid to a half full bucket (well controlled allergies) versus an already full one (immune system already on red alert). If one considers "overflowing" the bucket to be analogous to an allergic response, it makes sense that someone with poorly controlled allergies is likely to experience reactions which are both more frequent and more serious (or noticeable). By the way- persons with well-documented oral allergy syndrome have on rare occasion been observed to have serious allergic reactions to the food, so it IS in fact protein-IgE mediated, thanks.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 22, 2002).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/25/2002 - 12:08am
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"Years of internet and non-internet research" includes NON-internet research. My deductions are not based on "outrageous" websites---what kind of person would give credence to those when investigating an issue? Get real.
Some of my "online" research has included websites created by government health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, libraries of medical universities, JAMA article citations, etc. Shall we discredit these as well and all unplug our modems?
The carrot experiment was done out of curiosity and published here merely as a piece of information.
I stand behind my currently held view that manufactured free glutamic acid (MSG) should not be used at its current rate in food, medicines, cosmetics, and pet food.
I have trouble comprehending why supposedly highly educated people who have been advised that other areas of investigation on a substance have opened; and without doing the laborious legwork to look into the matter continue to cling to and defend the commonly held view, no matter how many millions of people it adversely affects.
I am only debating this for the sake of those who are dropping in. Lists of scientific references that reveal that MSG places humans at risk, an examination of the politics and science that allow continual u$e of these neurotoxins, and alias names for the substances can be found at the truthinlabeling.org website.
If questions still remain grab some migraine and asthma sufferers--see if you can find some unadulterated food (HA!Good Luck) --to challenge them with and you'll find their health conditions improve or disappear.
If the country's current levels of health problems: MS, Diabetes, Cancer, Strokes, Migraines, Mental Health Problems,joint problems,heartburn,allergies, psoriasis, lower life expectancies than other nations,etc.-- are any indication of where "careful" science has gotten us then maybe this justifies the public looking beyond currently held views for answers.
Dumping tons of Manufactured free glutamic acid on a basically unsuspecting public resulting in a plethora of horrific health problems may be beneficial to the economy (MSG changes perceptions of taste--enter the weight control industry, MSG interferes with pancreas and insulin--enter the market for diabetic products and diabetic groups, it generates health organizations--like the National Headache assoc. & the American Cancer Society,it keeps the medical community and researchers busy and...the pharmaceutical industry--all of these give money to universities for more medical research;it fills auto body shops with crashed cars from crazed drivers-- driving while under the influence of neurotoxins-road rage;then benefactors help fill politicians pockets, etc., etc.) but nevertheless-- these excitotoxins wreak havoc with normal body functioning on a daily basis and the damage is cumulative.
Do the research. A better use of time, though, would be to devote effort to getting a better food supply established. From seed selection, farming methods, processing and canning (glass jars), timely distribution using neigboring farms, to home preparation methods to avoid less nutrient loss. Much can be improved.
Indeed, we can eat what we're handed--and search for health treatment options, put up with hyperactive kids and parents with Parkinsons, get our hips replaced and back operations (MSG interferes with the build up and repair of cartilege). Yes--you can eat processed food (in fact you'll have to) it's even being sprayed on crops (auxigro), or we can start spreading the word and looking for alternatives. Like Tysons chicken corp., who just ran a news release, that due to so many consumer calls, they are removing certain antibiotics from their production line. Same can be done with neurotoxic food additives. Changes could be made. Voices can be heard.
Other options-- eat "theirs (processed, government approved, MSG laden food" and deteriorate or grow your own(?). Flower gardens are pretty... but how many can you eat? Don't let your gardening efforts be derailed as being quaint or messy.
One more thought. The cycle seems to have come full term. We started as hunter/gatherers, then farmers, then we got "civilized", moved off the farm,let others take care of our food, they took great liberties, we ignored what was going on, disease states becoming epidemic, civilization suffering, time to return to the farming that we prided ourselves on escaping?
Life in 2002. No charge for the info.
[This message has been edited by vrtu1 (edited February 25, 2002).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/25/2002 - 9:09am
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Here's some new credentials. Food Science degree and Agricultural Engineering degree from one of the top food science programs and engineering colleges in the country, several years of experience as a food process engineer at Fortune 100 companies, and someone who did literature searches on MSG BEFORE there was a public internet. I quit the food industry and a high paying job because what Vrtu1 is trying to tell you is true. I also happen to be allergic to apples, carrots, soy, peanuts as well as pollen. I also used to be extremely sensitive to MSG. I was heavily exposed to it at my first job when I was also working with nutrasweet. This was all before I developed food allergies. Based on research just out in May of 2001 from Johns Hopkins, the nervous system and the immune system are linked in ways that surprised the researchers themselves. It should be noted that many adults who are MSG sensitive also have diagnosed food allergies, which are supposed to be rare in adults. Guess what? MSG and aspartame are excitatory neurotransmitters. That means - people with allergy should definitely be concerned about food additives that stimulate the nervous system. That specifically means MSG and aspartame. It has been proven and actually written IN PRINT that MSG can induce asthma. (Another topic mentioned frequently on this site.) By some fly by night organization on the web? No, by the FDA, and the FASEB. I started the website [url="http://www.msgtruth.org"]http://www.msgtruth.org[/url] for scientific skeptics who need real research findings to back up claims and for curious researchers with more questions than answers. University research is hardly unbiased anymore - my old alma mater - Rutgers University, renamed the Food Science building after Kraft, since I graduated. Also, the Glutamate Association is not Chaos from an old Maxwell Smart episode, but a real organization with a very large budget for PR and a mission to keep you in the dark. If they were interested in the truth, they would not have used aspartame or tomato juice in the placebo since aspartic acid is converted to glutamate in the body, and tomato juice is already naturally high in free glutamate. I grant that pollen allergy does not help me deal with my food allergies at the same time, but Vrtu1 has some very valid points. Instead of behaving like the five blind men describing an elephant, perhaps we can try to see the whole picture with real vision, and recognize that these may be different parts of the very same animal.

Posted on: Mon, 02/25/2002 - 9:21am
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Everyone is of course entitled to THEIR OWN OPINION.... but putting it in this particular venue was not appropriate.
I can find evidence (both off and on line) to suggest that peanut allergies can be readily "cured" in a few weeks or months of alternative treatment. There are in fact books written on this subject.
Many of the research journal articles that are available about MSG strongly support the idea that for MOST people, MSG is in fact, just what our government has always maintained it to be - GRAS. (generally recognized as safe) Yes, glutamate is a neurotransmitter.... naturally NIH is interested in this subject, just as it is interested in many others.
To support my opinion, I will tell you that I have very good familiarity with this subject- as you may have noticed, it is one of my pet peeves. Another pet peeve and common myth of the "organic" food movement is that natural phytochemicals are somehow less toxic or harmful than manufactured ones. News flash- most of the "manufactured" chemicals are naturally derived, number one, and number two, the most toxic substances known are naturally derived. Tetrodotoxin, TTX (puffer fish toxin) for example. I often wonder why it does not occur to any of the organic food consumers who do it out of paranoia (as you apparently do) that much of the information you get comes from the same organic food producers you are all supporting?
Want to know what's behind my opinion? I have an earned doctorate in bioanalytical chemistry and was an active scientist conducting university research until quite recently. My doctoral research was conducted in CNS neuroscience, and I have a pretty good understanding of experimental design (or serious flaws in it) when reading a research article. I've done my share of reviewing as well, and I know precisely what goes into producing a peer reviewed article. Frankly, the two things that tell you the most in any article are the figures and the statistics that go with the data. What a shame for the uninitiated that those things are not included in titles or abstracts.
Well, no matter... you are no doubt digging in seed potatoes as I write. Lucky you that you have the time and ability to do so. The early middle ages seem fabulous, do they? Why was it again that they called them the "dark" ages? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 02/25/2002 - 9:48am
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I am not maintaining that MSG is innocent of ANY problems... it isn't. What I am saying is that like sulfites, it should not be presented as the universal culprit that many laypersons make it out to be. I am also suggesting that it is probably not appropriate to have presented this "experiment" here and in this way. Consider me a hostile reviewer of that carrot experiment, if you like.
Carol-
I personally have a diazomethane sensitivity which like your MSG sensitization, cannot be called an allergy properly, but was developed via exposure. Multiple chemical sensitivity is also well-documented, though not nearly as common or severe as many sufferers think. (Strange thing seems to be that few professional chemists suffer from it, even those with constant lab exposure [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )
DBPC has been used in many people who suffered (medically well-documented) from "Chinese restaurant syndrome" to conclusively show that MSG was not to blame in many of these individuals. The authors usually concluded that the syndrome is real, but that MSG is not the causative agent. I have read three different studies about this, and two of those three were very solid studies with powerful, statistically meaningful results.
I agree that occasionally bad science gets done (and worse, published)- but to imply that this is intended to skew research data is not likely to be correct, in my opinion. Most of the time, this is done out of ignorance. Reviewers usually (but not invariably) object strenuously to this type of problem, and rightfully so. Controls and placebos are unquestionably the most difficult part of an experiment to conduct. Reviewers' comments on the subject (mostly welcome) often result in an additional set of experiments, but do not frequently change the overall results.
Just because a corporation donates a large amount to a university does not give it any control over what happens there, just as it doesn't for a family or individual donor. (I speak from some experience there too- it was once something I was quite concerned about as well.)
Are you suggesting seriously that Kraft must approve the experiments conducted at Rutgers? Or that publication of certain experiments conducted is restricted by them as a result of their donation? Philanthropy is not completely dead, you know. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Besides, the increased visibility and tax break may be all the incentive a company such as this needs to make a large donation.
One last question for you, Carol... if persons who have that atopic gene are supposed to avoid "excitatory" neurotransmitters, then what does that say about the neuropharmaceuticals taken by patients who are treated for depression? What about epinephrine, which is INARGUABLY the most "excitatory" neurotransmitter? Oh- and the "excitatory" part of "aspartame" isn't really aspartame at all... One of the two amino acids in this sweetener is simply the biological precursor to several neurotransmitters (so your body turns it into the neurotransmitters as it needs them). Perhaps diet coke will be the new miracle treatment for Parkinson's disease... and depression! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img].
A little known fact about CNS neurotransmitters is that they are rapidly degraded by specific enzymes once they leave the cell from which they are released. Since this degradation is enzymatic, the degradation products themselves might be causing trouble, but probably not the active neurotransmitter itself. I'm interested to know if you are aware of any direct chemical sampling (microdialysis or push-pull cannula sampling)to determine glutamate (and degradation products) levels at intervals after oral consumption.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 25, 2002).]
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 25, 2002).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/25/2002 - 11:27pm
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Re philanthropy--what institution in this day and age would cut off the hand that feeds them?
Enzymes and genes are "just part of the whole." Leaky gut syndrome: glutamate, yeast, parsites, sugar,inflamation, all allowing "inappropriate gut debris" (as opposed to normal dimminutive cellular substance exchange) to escape the intestine. Molecules and organisms that were supposed to remain on the other side are now invading the blood stream with antibodies being formed against them. Multi-sensitivity. Not to mention what the bacteria and yeast do elswhere. As for enzymes---the inappropriate oils and greasy diets we are eating are saturating cell walls making them less permeable thus prohibiting natural enzyme mechanisms to occur (not to mention the glutamate interference with enzymatic processes taking place at the cellular level).
What we are doing to ourselves!
Do we continue to eat out of the trash barrel we are offered (a rather DARK place don't you think) or like I said do we start looking for alternatives?

Posted on: Tue, 02/26/2002 - 4:24am
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Wow!
You guys don't stop now, this is getting good!
I certainly think this is an interesting topic and I will be checking to see any updates.

Posted on: Tue, 02/26/2002 - 7:54am
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Well at 2:24 p.m, I replied that I am enjoying this debate, I appreciate both sides totally, I posted this and it reflected the time however didn't post my reply.
I just wanted to say, your keeping someone interested in what you write next....
This is wierd, I just posted this and the above post went with it 3 hours later....
spooky
[This message has been edited by smack (edited February 26, 2002).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/26/2002 - 9:15am
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Pass the popcorn, smack - I'm riveted, too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Corvallis Mom - you're doing great (like, you needed me to reassure you, lol) but you will *never* convince the anti-establishment types of anything mainstream. I know from experience not to debate [i]any[/i] issue with someone who thinks [i]everything is a conspiracy[/i].
Still, reading all the above posts, I pine for the days of yore before MSG was added to everything and we didn't have diabetes, allergies, headaches, cancer, strokes, heartburn, etc. Musta been really good times, living way back then before pharmaceuticals came along... Funny thing though, is that I [i]still[/i] don't have any of those problems, nor do a lot of people. Must be a conspiracy, dude.
Please continue.

Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2002 - 3:42am
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[url="http://www.truthinlabeling.org/additional.html"]http://www.truthinlabeling.org/additional.html[/url]

Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2002 - 8:50am
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I appreciate your credentials, Corvallis Mom, however, it is quite obvious you did not visit my website. I do have an entire page of statistics. I do not blindly post abstracts unless I have read the research. I have news journalists telling me this is an important resource, and it isn't even done yet. Please take a look at my site before you condemn my message. I am not saying that Kraft RESTRICTS what passes for research at Rutgers, I do however imply that it appears to be in the interest of researchers at universities these days eager for more funds to continue their work try to make potential donors happy. This is not Maxwell Smart. There is no "Conspiracy" here. Just greed. The tobacco companies found an addictive way to make money. The food industry found an anti-appetite suppressant. Hurray for them. Too bad for us - it's a drug and not regulated as such. It's an old story. I am trying to convince scientists with scientific data. I just think you are holding the tail of the elephant. The problem is, there's a heck of a lot more animal attached to that tail. I spent an entire decade researching this because there are uncharted waters here. Conclusions yet to be drawn from much existing real data from respectable sources. Speaking of depression, there are currently studies underway to investigate glutamate inhibitors to treat it, since glutamate in excess can damage the NMDA receptors. Yes - I even know what that stands for (N-Methyl D-aspartate). The theory is that it doesn't matter if there is enough neurotransmitter around if the receptors have died off from neurotoxicity. Really, now, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Did you know that a surprisingly large number of diabetics have antibodies to GAD - that's Glutamic acid decarboxylase - the amino acid that converts glutamate into GABA. (That's gamma amino butyric acid). Diabetics immune systems are attacking the means by which diabetics metabolize this overused food additive. I was so trusting of all they told me in my food science classes, however, what I found out really shook my faith in the system. It might also help these people here posting on this board to know that the Food Allergy Network is heavily sponsored by big food companies. The result is recipes in books I purchased from FAN which are high in sugary treats, and short on good nutrition. The new versions of my old college nutrition texts are now loaded with what appears to be ads for food companies, and their websites. Hardly unbiased texts nowadays. Hardly unbiased researchers, and hardly unbiased people with impressive sounding degrees. If you could potentially solve a serious health problem by simply avoiding a particular food item and an unnecessary one at that, why in the world wouldn't you want someone to try and give it a shot? Do you work for a pharmaceutical company now?

Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2002 - 9:06am
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PS, a regular poster on the [url="http://www.msgmyth.com"]http://www.msgmyth.com[/url] website was chemist. She now has multiple chemical sensitivity and allergies as well as extreme sensitivity to MSG. She would disagree stongly with your unscientific position on that.
Also, did you know that glutamate triggers a histamine response? It doesn't trigger an antibody response - hence it's not an allergen and was never considered one. (It's one amino acid - not a full protein after all. Antibodies don't recognize it, but they do recognize enzymes used to handle glutamate) However, I'm sure you'll agree that histamine is of some concern to a food allergic person. They are after all taking risks when eating anything. MSG or shrimp in a restaurant meal (that's any restaurant - only people who have done no research since 1995 still call it "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" - the proper term is MSG Symptom Complex according to the FDA) cause an asthma attack within one hour in my boyfriend. Asthma is something many food allergic persons must worry about. The FASEB, and independent group, found that persons with asthma were at risk of ingesting even 0.5 grams of MSG. That I think should be of concern to any allergic or asthmatic person. I didn't make this up to aggravate you. I am bringing all this up, because I am a concerned scientist, and want to help people feel better.

Posted on: Thu, 02/28/2002 - 7:01am
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My perspective upon the subject of MCS is no doubt just as anecdotal as your own, Carol!
I know several hundred "chemists" and those in the "chemical professions," including former students as well as colleagues. They are in nine different countries. I know two who have symptoms which have been diagnosed as belonging to multiple chemical sensitivity. A third has since been diagnosed with lupus, which was initially thought to also be MCS. All three of those individuals had less chemical exposure occupationally than many of the post-docs and PhD's in my acquiantance (and one of them is a organic vegan, too). Compare this to the three persons (in my own extended family) who THINK that they suffer from this ailment and I think what you have is a real ailment (like true allergies) which is substantially OVER diagnosed.
Well...duh. Did I EVER (EVER?)suggest that MSG is something other than a free amino acid? (That is the argument that I give against people who claim to have a genuine "allergy" to it or any other small molecule.)
Yes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Very. I notice, Carol (pardon me if this seems rude) that you do not have specific training in pharmacology, neuroscience, or chemistry (and yes- I am VERY well aware of the necessary coursework to complete a BS in food science). Any of those would prove useful, I have no doubt, but none is easily "independently studied" at the advanced level necessary to understand research studies.
(Note that I personally never claim to know anything w/respect to physics or materials chemistry- it isn't my specialty, though I have studied it in a rudimentary way.)
I do not claim that my literature knowledge of CNS glutamate receptor research is current- I know that it is not. What I DO maintain is that my own background allows me to interpret what is "assumed" knowledge in many "materials and methods" sections of journal articles. I have two decades of experience with the same laboratory techniques that are mentioned in neuroscience journals. I was for years a member of the Society for Neurosciences. Please do not think that I was merely a dilettante chemist that happened to take up with a pharmacologist to earn my degree. I am not in the least ashamed of my credentials- I had on my doctoral committee a National Academy of Sciences nominee and a former International Atomic Energy Commission president- but that didn't make ME a better scientist. (Just more terrified to be grilled by them during my thesis defense! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] )
I would take praise from journalists about the technical merits of yoru site with a hefty grain of salt, by the way. Trying to convince "scientists" and trying to convince the "press" are likely to be incompatible endeavors. Just MHO.
I also followed with great interest the debate throughout the 90's over what role damaged NMDA receptors might play in depression... However, you seem to imply that these receptors can be damaged by overuse which is patently false for all of the CNS receptors that I have ever studied, so far as that goes. GABA used to destroy receptors- yes. BUT this does not occur naturally, and if it did, researchers would not be able (as they routinely do) to lesion rat and primate brain receptors with this drug.
The most widely used antidepressant drugs ("prozac" and similar molcules) DO NOT interact with this receptor system. They are (as a class) SSRI's or selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors. The selective term comes about because many illicit substances are less selective (ie- cocaine) and effect all of the catecholamine centers. The sleep disturbances and anhedonia commonly experienced in depressive episodes are linked conclusively to 5-HT, and therefore treatment which is focussed on this neurotransmitter is highly effective.
To suggest that university research is largely biased and not credible is - well, outrageous to say the least. It also reveals your complete ignorance of how university research is REALLY conducted. Clearly you didn't ever spend time earning a MS or a PhD if you think this. I am sorry if industrial experiences have embittered you to such a degree that you suspect all mainstream research of being "tainted," for that simply isn't the case. I have known only one person who was ever asked to bias or falsify data or results. She immediately acted as a whistleblower, and has led a legal charge against that former employer. One must ask why you didn't feel compelled to do something similar. Don't tell me that it would have been impossible- my friend was up against the Defense Dept and the EPA, since she was employed at a Superfund site which was also a cold war weapons facility.
By the way- 0.500 g of MSG is quite a lot!! (That much would be about the size of an average peanut- something everyone in the audience can immediately appreciate [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) MSG is a fairly traditional component of asian cuisine- so why is diabetes so rare in that culture? (The name for the "flavor" imparted by MSG is actually a Japanese term, "umami".)
Hmmmmm... why would the FOOD industry supply anyone in this country with an additive which is an "appetite suppressant"??? (And why on earth are we all so FAT if they've been doing this for so long??)
Of course, if what you were trying to say is that MSG acts as an appetite promoter, then everyone who eats no processed foods ought to lose weight, right? Sure didn't work for ME, is all I can say!
It does seem very strange to me that the medical community in general is VERY willing to acknowledge the problem of sulfite sensitivity... (from a clinical perspective, having been verified with DBPC) but is still so skeptical of MSG intolerances and looks for other causes.
Just things to think on!
(By the way, everyone- quixotic impulse being what it is, and me being a former educator... I know a hopeless cause when I see it, but I can't resist trying to modify ignorance, even when it's willful! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] )
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2002).]
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2002).]

Posted on: Thu, 02/28/2002 - 8:21am
Carol H's picture
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Of course I meant anti-appetite suppressant. On the msgtruth.org website I explain that Asians have only been ingesting MSG as a separate food ingredient since 1908, when the Japanese used it for its flavor enhancing abilities. Asians now are becoming blinder by the day. They are experiencing epidemics of myopia and stroke at unprecedented levels. If you visited my site you would see the links. Asians are hardly immune to the effects of MSG. There are protective effects provided to Japanese consumers by the ingestion of raw fish which contains taurine, as well as the protection afforded by CoQ10 a substance almost used as much by the Japanese, as MSG itself. Coincidence, maybe? You have not addressed the fact that the placebos in those tests paid for by industry were spiked with aspartame or tomato juice. What about the diabetes link? Why don't you address these issues? I have links to official sites all over the msgtruth website. Are you afraid I might be right? I got news for you. I'm afraid, because I know I am right. There is more to the body than the brain and spinal cord. There are receptors for glutamate in the pancreas, in the retina, and in the ear. You just will not even look at any new data. I am an engineer, by training. I can't just rest on my laurels, and say such and such is so. I must every day, face reality squarely, and admit that sometimes stuff we don't expect or draw in an equation or on a blueprint just happens. We have to take that reality and create new ways of looking at the causes and find real answers, and actually fix the problems, not just debate them. If we all just yawned and gave up because some smart guy told us he has figured it all out for us already, we would never get anywhere. I for one have been noticing that all the experts are telling us that childhood type 2 diabetes, obesity and asthma are epidemic and they DON'T KNOW WHY. They are telling us that 50% of Asian teenagers are myopic when in the past that figure was 15%, and THEY DON'T KNOW WHY. They are seeing young ASIAN adults suffering stroke in higher numbers AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHY. (Even though in the US they are treating stroke sufferers with glutamate blockers) They are seeing more cases of depression, teen suicides, and autism AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHY. Many of these body systems use glutamate in some way. As an engineer, I am looking at some very curious circumstantial evidence. In my job, I am not allowed to say "Gee, I don't know why that happens." and just go on my merry way. I have to solve problems. And these are very big problems, that may not need a pharmaceutical answer. Perhaps the answer isn't in the air or water, but the food. It is part of the environment after all. Perhaps it isn't some vitamin we have to take because we are missing it, perhaps, it is that we are eating too much of one thing. The uptake of glutamate competes with the uptake of cysteine in the body. Are you familiar with taurine? Well, the body uses cysteine to make taurine. All the smart guys who thought they knew human nutrition forgot all about taurine until 1986 when they realized that babies need to eat taurine because they can't make it. Think of all the babies born before 1986 who were bottle fed and taurine deficient because some PhD told their moms that they knew best, and had it all figured out.

Posted on: Thu, 02/28/2002 - 8:37am
Carol H's picture
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By the way, many MSG sensitive folks are also sulfite sensitive. It is worth noting that taurine and cysteine are both sulfur containing amino acids. I know that traditional anti-depressants are usually SRRIs. However, this is new research investigating glutamate inhibitors. You mentioned students. You must teach at a college or university. You are slightly biased when it comes to issue of University wrongdoing are you not? I am not disputing your knowledge of the CNS - that is central nervous system for the folks just tuning in, but the research out from John's Hopkins linking asthma with the nervous system was pretty recent. You might be interested in that since you are posting here. About your insulting me, you're wrong, but I forgive you [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 03/01/2002 - 8:19am
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Corvallis Mom, I do hope you you scrutinize those peer reviewed journals a little more diligently than you read my above postings. You wasted a whole paragraph on my use of the words "appetite suppressant" without realizing I had put an ANTI in front of it. MSG is used by researchers to actually induce obesity in test animals. It also was found in research trials to lower dopamine levels, as well as increase prolactin levels. This is of concern to people with Parkinsons disease as well as those with pituitary tumors. Any one taking a dopamine agonist. That includes me. I was occupationally exposed to aspartame and ingested MSG in test products at the same time. I not only had one of the largest ovarian dermoid cysts the emergency room doctor ever saw, I also have a prolactin secreting pituitary tumor just like those little animals in the safety tests for approval of Nutrasweet. As far as aspartame, the body does split it up into aspartic acid and phenylalinine, however, the body can turn aspartic acid into glutamate. Also the phenylalinine, not only trouble for those with PKU, is the precursor to tyrosine, which competes for uptake with tryptophan. Tryptophan, as you must know is the precursor to seratonin. Gee, lets see now. Since 1991, depression prescriptions are up, teen suicide is up, and THEY DON'T KNOW WHY. You said it yourself - people take SRRIs for chemical depression. Including me. Coincidence? Incidence of stroke is increasing in Asia, I already had a renal artery bypass when I was 34. The vasoconstriction was so bad, they could not find a vein big enough to do the graft. They had to use GoreTex. The aneurysm just past the blockage was 25 mm across. I am speaking from research and experience. I was not embittered by my years of experience in R&D at the best food companies. That is where I learned a lot more than any university taught me. I left on good terms with my last food industry employer. I was just so shocked by the implications of using excitatory neurotransmitters as food additives, and unnecessary ones at that, that I had to speak out, and leave the industry completely. This is not sour grapes, my friend, this is having ones eyes opened. After all these health problems and then becoming allergic to seven of the top ten food allergens, when I had never been allergic to foods before working with aspartame or MSG, makes me just a little bit curious about things. Especially when the research at Johns Hopkins came out linking the nervous system to the immune system. As for excitatory neurotoxicity, it does happen. There are volumes of research data on it. They are now using glutamate blockers on many different neurodegenerative diseases right now. This is real, it is happening, and people are taking these drugs. The premise is that glutamate in excess causes nerve cell death. That is the basis of all the research. It is not a question of does it happen. The question these researchers have is, "How do I spare the patient more brain damage?" Forgive me for my curiousity. I believe that curiosity and an open mind are pretty key for a scientist.

Posted on: Sat, 03/02/2002 - 4:49am
Carol H's picture
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One more item. And I'll wait for your reply. GABA. The body converts MSG into GABA. You stated that GABA can damage receptors. Well, did you know that the agricultural industry here in the US is now spraying GABA and MSG in the "growth enhancing" spray Auxigro on many crops now? The EPA allowed all kinds of exemptions because MSG, (which is converted to GABA in the presence of certain vitamins) is considered GRAS. Just a little something FYI.

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 5:57am
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I had Killer 18 hr. migraines. I did all the neurological testing. I was prescribed Immitrex (which I declined to take having read that several people dropped dead from taking it, even while in their own doctor's offices). I started carefully avoiding as much Manufactured Free Glutamic Acid (commonly called MSG) as possible and... no more migraines. My neurologist was surprised. I also suffer vision disturbance, heart arythmias, mood swings, icy hands and feet, concentration problems, tintinitus, and connective tissue maintenance problems from ingesting too much MSG (and only God knows what else it's doing.)
My brother was told by an emergency room physician after experiencing hours of a racing heartbeat, that if they could not slow his heart within the next few hours, he would die. The emergency room team had tried several things and nothing was working. His heartbeat snapped back into rhythm for no apparent reason. To this day if he takes in MSG, which he tries very hard to avoid, it alters his heartbeat every time.
The man up the street ends up in the emergency room with asthma from MSG ingestion.
My cousin's child's lupus is in remission for the first time in years after going off aspartame and avoiding MSG.
People came up to my NOMSG booths at local health fairs and volunteered that they found, that by avoiding MSG; one health disorder after another improved. Many also volunteered that family members and friends known to them, were avoiding MSG for one health problem or another, or had "died" from it with: strokes, heart attacks, asthma, etc.
Millions of case histories documented all over the world prove what currently accepted printed science doesn't, that is---by avoiding MSG and aspartame--- "oh so rare" and "not so rare" health disorders related to MSG and aspartame ingestion improve or disappear.
You don't need a degree or any science background to get these results, just unadulterated food and drink.
How do these people KNOW that MSG caused their problems? Simply stated, when they encountered MSG they experienced their problem whereas when they avoided it they remained symptom free.
These people were not trying to justify the continued use of a neurotoxic substance for any rea$on like government and industry scientists, they were just trying to live their lives without health problems.
What does this tell us about the testing done to validate safety that contradicts what millions with no financial interests have discovered to be true?
Forced to do their own trial and error testing, after medical science failed to restore their health to a level allowing daily life activities, they find out--on their own, one case after another, THAT AVOIDING MSG IS THE KEY.
Are the scientists eyes wide open or conveniently $hut?
I tend to put my faith in those with no financial interests in the MSG matter rather than with those who have a conflict of interest, ie. the food & glutamate industry, pharmaceutical companies, the health industries and associations, and government agencies which attest to the safety of a substance that Millions know is a bio-hazard.
No conspiracy just sound logic.

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 6:50am
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um...excuse me...a quick question...(do you need my credentials???) I'm alergic to "trees"...(I haven't had much testing in the past 25 years), but I get itchy mouth/lips, when I eat raw apples, and peaches. It's usually only "Delicious" apples that bother me, is there any significance to this? I had a respiratory arrest to a peach once when I was a kid, but it certainly seems to correlate to the skins of both apples and peaches.
Thanks...you may continue now, with your debate.
jillsmom

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 7:14am
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vrtu1,
Pardon me for interrupting...
Your symptoms (vision disturbance, heart arhythmias, mood swings, icy hands and feet, concentration problems, tintinitus) sound an awful lot like perimenopause/menopause to me.
I'm assuming you're female. Forgive me if you're not!!!!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Just an observation.
Interesting discussion going on here, BTW. I would have agreed to disagree by now. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 8:00am
Carol H's picture
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LAM, I was mistakenly diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. It was actually due to the pituitary tumor. My medicine, which is a dopamine agonist, has the opposite effect of MSG. (MSG increases prolactin levels and decreases dopamine levels) I read all the books about perimenopause - my doctor even put me on birth control pills before I was diagnosed with the tumor. Now, things are back to normal. I never needed the birth control pills in the first place. These things may all be related because MSG effects the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that directs the pituitary. And the pituitary directs the other glands in the body.

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 8:51am
smack's picture
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Carol,
Your the first person I ever heard from with high prolactin levels. I had this and was tested negative for a pituitary tumor(had MRI).
However, I do have fluctuating prolactin levels, just wondering what symptoms you have with this?

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 11:21pm
vrtu1's picture
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Lam,
My brother, the one with the heart problems is definitely not a woman. There are NMDA receptors located on heart muscle tissue. As for the eyes glutamate is believed to be the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the retina.(Do searches on glutamate and glutamate receptors in the vertebrate retina). Again I should suffer these symptoms anytime were it just perimenopause. I don't ---it's only after MSG ingestion. If I eat junkfood, ringing in the ears is one of my first symptoms.
Visit websites listed in above postings for more background information.
JillsMom-
Delicious apples when chemically analyzed are found to contain many substances we would not choose to eat. They are treated with insecticides and fungicides, agents to prevent ripening, waxed with glutamate containing waxes, and color dyes are used--any of which in addition to any true allergy to the food might cause reactions. Unless you are anaphylactic, one way to test would be to find an abandoned fruit tree, that no one has sprayed or treated for years and test the fruit. That would help you to eliminate chemical induced reactions. A leaky gut is the basis for many food related allergies. Strengthening intestinal wall integrity is beneficial to overall health for many reasons.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 10:42am
Carol H's picture
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Smack, high prolactin levels cause the body may think it is pregnant- that's why high prolactin may stop menstruation. It also plays havok with mood swings. It is related to the post-partum depression women feel after giving birth. My symptoms were excruciating headaches and stopped period for six months, and terrible mood swings. Due to my unusual history my doctor diagnosed me correctly right away. A CAT scan (That's when I found out I was allergic to the dye) then the MRI confirmed it. You need a special MRI to detect it, it was only 5mm big. Now it is 2 mm big. The headaches are gone. [url="http://www.pituitary.org"]http://www.pituitary.org[/url] has a lot of info on tumors and pituitary disease in general.
Vtu1, I have started to drink a lot more water, in hopes that my many allergies may be partially due to leaky gut. I am feeling a little better, but it is still early yet. I was interested in flavenoids, as they appear to strengthen the blood brain barrier, according to new research. If that is so, maybe flavenoids may help allergic patients with leaky gut syndrome. Blueberries are reportedly high in these beneficial flavenoids. Anybody have any input on this one?

Posted on: Fri, 03/22/2002 - 4:19am
vrtu1's picture
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We left this strand hanging, didn't we? Some suggestions to improve intestinal integrity: try to keep yeast under control, (lot of websites on this) cut back on sugar, add acidophilus, add olive and flaxseed oil, cut back on spicy & hot food that inflames the gut, MSG also causes inflamation so cut back on MSG, see [url="http://www.NoMSG.com"]www.NoMSG.com[/url] for alias names for labeling MSG in manufactured products, drink more water, eat meals at regular intervals allowing digestive system to function better. There are lots of websites and ideas out there that can help improve leaky gut.

Posted on: Wed, 07/09/2014 - 3:37pm
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My daughter, age 12, recently had a reaction to a cherry (lost voice for an hour, ears itched, throat hurt). She had allergy testing and her tests came back as allergic to peanuts among pollens, molds, pets, etc. I've never noticed any reaction to her eating peanuts in the past. the cherry reaction was due to oral allergy syndrome and is not life threatening but due to her allergy to pollens. She has been prescribed both allegra (180 mg) and zyrtec (10 mg) along with zaditor as needed and an epi-pen and a pro-air HFA as needed. Have you received any further information from your doctor? We return in 2 weeks for a follow up appt.

Posted on: Sat, 03/22/2014 - 10:58pm
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Cara,
My son has multiple severe food allergies & on top of that, oral allergy syndrome. Your description of it sounds very similar to the one given by our allergist except that I was under the impression that oral allergy reactive foods' reactions are non-life threatening. However, I'm not a doctor, so please defer to your allergist for that information. Unfortunately, figuring out OAS triggers is trial & error. We skin & blood tested my son's triggers & all came back negative, which is why it was deemed OAS. We avoid them for him now, but our allergist mentioned that when he is a little older & can receive allergy shots (he's only 2 1/2 & has wicked seasonal allergies too) he may receive some relief because of the pollen/protein cross-reactivity. Our allergist even said she grew up with OAS but doesn't have any problem with it now thanks to allergy shots. Might be worth a mention to your dr. Good luck!

Posted on: Sun, 03/23/2014 - 11:58pm
Cara Lena's picture
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Thanks for your comments. I found on the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology that anaphylaxis, while rare, can happen with OAS, so trial and error seems frightening. If blood and skin tests come back negative, it seems like every food you try to eat may cause a life-threatening problem. My allergist mentioned the possibility of oral challenges, in which I'd eat a food in his office and they would observe me to see what happens. I think that's going to be the way to go. Thanks!

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