Sulfite Allergies


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sulfite-allerySulfite Allergies Are Serious

Add sulfites to the long list of substances a person with allergies or asthma may want to avoid. Sulfites are salts used for preserving processed foods.

Sulfite sensitivity occurs in about 5 percent of adult asthmatics or approxi­mately 500,000 people. The symptoms include hives, itching, flushing, tingling, nausea, and asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath. In rare cases, shock, heavy sweating, and loss of consciousness may occur. Sulfite sensitivity is more common in people who take steroids for their asthma symptoms.

When shopping for food, always read labels carefully. If you have a sulfite sensitivity, here are some categories to watch for:

  • Pickled products (canned vegetables, pickled vegetables including sauerkraut)
  • Dried fruit (dried fruit snacks, trail mixes, filled crackers)
  • Lemon juice and lime juice (non-frozen)
  • Certain alcoholic beverages (some beer, cocktail mixes, wine, wine coolers)
  • Soups and sauces (seafood based soups, dried soup mixes)
  • Condiments and relishes (horseradish, onion and pickle relishes, pickles, olives, salad dressing mixes, wine vinegar)
  • Certain drugs (cardiovascular drugs, antibiotics, tranquilizers, intravenous muscle relaxants, analgesics (painkillers), anesthetics, steroids and nebulized bronchodilator solutions (used for treatment¬† of asthma).
  • Fish and shellfish (canned clams; fresh, frozen, canned or dried shrimp, frozen lobster, scallops)
  • Processed meats (bacon, sausages, many pork products)

Related Post: Wine Allergies and Sulphur Allergy.

Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition (14,3:229)

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Sulfite Allergy


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sulfite-allergy

Sulfites are used as an preservative in just about every wine and heavily processed meat product throughout the world and can cause mild to serious allergic reactions. Sulfites are also used as sanitizing agents and food color preservatives. Sulfites are also suspected to be a carcinogen when heavy consumed but there is still much testing to be done.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 1 percent of people the United States have a sensitivity to sulfites and up to 5% of these people are considered to be “sulfite allergic.”

Many people who either know they have a sulfite allergy or just wish to avoid sulfite containing products because of their potential health consequences do not fully know how widely used it really is. Like many food related allergens, avoidance is the best strategy to preventing allergic reactions.

Here is a list of the top 15 products which can contain sulfites in addition to wine and processed meats:

  1. Canned fruits and vegetables
  2. Condiments
  3. Dressings
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Grapes (fresh) – safe in some countries
  6. Ketchup
  7. Lemon juice/concentrate
  8. Lime juice/concentrate
  9. Mushrooms (canned or frozen)
  10. Pickled foods
  11. Pickles
  12. Potatoes (dehydrated, frozen french fries, dehydrated, mashed, peeled, pre-cut)
  13. Raisins (dried or dedydrated)
  14. Soups
  15. Vinegar, wine vinegar

by Tony Coturri

Tony Coturri on Sulfites