Do you get headaches after drinking a glass of red wine? If so, the culprit may be an allergy to sulfites. While other food allergies, such as those to peanuts or shellfish, may be more widespread, it is possible to be allergic to many different types of foods or ingredients. TheAnniston Starrecently took a look at the controversial possibility of sulfite allergies.
Sulfites are naturally found in many fruits as a way to prevent spoilage. While the grapes used for wine contain naturally occurring sulfites, often these alone are not enough to keep the wine from spoiling. As a result, additional sulfites are commonly added during the winemaking process.
The FDA requires foods containing added sulfites to carry a warning. Typically, the ingredient list will include sulfur dioxide or other sulfur-based ingredients as a preservative. Such ingredients are found in an astonishing array of dried fruits and other processed foods, though the issue of sulfite allergies is usually brought up as it relates to red wine.
According to the CDS, sulfite reactions are more common among people who have severe asthma. Other than this, the issue of sulfite allergies has not been well studied. According to some researchers, headaches after drinking red wine could be caused by other things in the wine, such as tannins or histamines. One expert suggests that if you think your headaches are caused by sulfites, try sucking on a store-bought dried apricot. If that doesn’t cause a headache, it’s probably not the sulfites.