Avocado allergy is not commonly reported, but it can cause adverse reactions. The avocado (Av) is a fruit that belongs to the Lauraceae family. Hypersensitivity reactions to other fruits are commonly reported, particularly apples, stone fruits and bananas. Avocados have a creamy, nutty flavor that some people describe as almost buttery. Health benefits of avocado are a great source of potassium, they are packed with monsaturated fats, they are high in fiber and rich in folate. Avocado has been implicated in an array of adverse reactions, latex-fruit syndrome, oral allergy syndrome and anaphylaxis.
Types of Reactions to Avocado:
- Latex-fruit syndrome-People allergic to latex may also have reactions to avocado as their proteins are similar. Other foods in this category are bananas, kiwi, chestnuts and papaya. These reactions occur in 30-50% of people with latex allergy.
- Oral Allergy Syndrome-symptoms typically occur with mouth itching and swelling of lips and tongue. Patients allergic to birch tree (Bet v 2) can describe symptoms of oral allergy syndrome to avocado. This is not a true avocado allergy, but a cross reactivity of the proteins to the birch tree pollen. Treatment is heating the fruit or just avoiding it.
- Anaphylaxis-symptoms that occur are hives, swelling, wheezing, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea and low blood pressure. This leads to IgE mast cell degranulation. Allergy skin testing, specific IgE lab testing and fresh food skin testing with avocado all can be used to test for avocado allergy.
- High Histamine-Avocado is considered a “high histamine” food. There are foods that have high histamine and foods that increase the release of histamine in the body. To read more about it click here.
Reactions to avocado can thus come in different forms. An allergy doctor can help decipher what type of reaction one is having to avocado and to do the appropriate tests for establishing or ruling out a diagnosis of clinical allergy. If one is allergic to avocado and not the latex/fruit or oral allergy form, an epinephrine autoinjector should be prescribed. A study here describes a subset of patients who had avocado allergy hypersensitivity reactions. Avocado hypersensitivity