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oral allergy syndrome

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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 yesterdays message,I had places to go yesterday and was rushing.

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][/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 persons 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 dds 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 dont 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 doesnt make ya mad)I am not saying this isnt 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][/img] What this means isnt that conclusions you read are CORRECT... but at least its reasonable to think they could be, if you see the difference.


Thank you for your input. What I love about the internet is all the information that one can explore-- then assimilate or discard. Its 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][/img]

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 shouldnt 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:

and for the scoop on aspartame visit

Research glutamate and neuroprotective agents- youll 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 daughters peanut allergy. Hmmm? Peanuts, proteins, amino acids, histamine, neurotransmitter response, glutamate interference, makes you pause doesnt it?

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 cant understand the research methodology in an appropriate context, youre 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 dont 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 daughters 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 dont 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, dont 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 dont trust your allergists 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 arent 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).]

""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 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 youll find their health conditions improve or disappear.

If the countrys 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 were 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 youll have to) its 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? Dont 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).]

Heres 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=""""][/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.

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 whats 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. Ive 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][/img]

I am not maintaining that MSG is innocent of ANY problems... it isnt. 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.

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][/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 doesnt 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][/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"" isnt 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 Parkinsons disease... and depression! [img][/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. Im 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).]

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 dont you think) or like I said do we start looking for alternatives?

You guys dont stop now, this is getting good!
I certainly think this is an interesting topic and I will be checking to see any updates.

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