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Palm Oil and Allergy: Is There Any Connection?

palm oil allergy

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People who suffer from food allergy will understand: nothing can be worse than coming across your allergen in a new or unknown product. When we consume palm oil allergy appears seldom, but there are some cases. And since palm oil is widely spread and can be found in a great number of food items, it is reasonable to consider whether it may cause any allergic reactions.

Food allergy and its causes

To find out whether palm oil is safe in terms of being an allergen or not, it is important to understand what is allergy and what it is caused by.

When you consume certain food, your immune system mistakes it with harmful substance and tries to eliminate it by releasing antibodies. This is what allergy is about and it usually appears in a form of eyes itching, dripping nose, rashes, dry throat and many other symptoms which may vary. The cause for most food allergies is protein, found especially in such products as peanuts, fish, seafood and eggs. Thus, food with low amount of protein is less unlikely to trigger allergic reactions.


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Palm oil allergy

According to Doctor Taylor, a professor of Food Science and Technology in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, palm oil is extremely unlikely to cause any allergy since it is very low in protein (as all vegetable oils). He also adds that in general no other palm products are consumed except for coconuts, but coconut oil and palm oil are extracted from different palm species.

Since most palm oil on the market is finely refined, it means that during the process of refining almost all proteins are eliminated from the oil composition. However, some amount is still left and this is what causes allergic reaction.As Natural Standard states, palm oil is recommended to be avoided by people who already showed allergic reaction to coconut oil.

The symptoms of palm oil allergy may vary individually and may be common or severe.

  • Common allergy symptoms

Light forms of allergy signs include skin rashes and reddening. As well palm oil consumption may even cause burning sensation in the mouth or some gastrointestinal disorders.

  • Severe allergy symptoms

These symptoms may include dramatic blood pressure drop, dizziness and breathlessness. This may lead to fainting and is considered to be a serious condition which has to be immediately treated.


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Allergy treatment

Palm oil allergy has to be treated as any other allergy. A consultation with a doctor is required to determine how severe your allergy is and what medications you have to take.