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Legume Protein Consumption and the Prevalence of Legume Sensitization

Author: Smits, M. · Le, T.M. · Welsing, P. · Houben, G. · Knulst, A. · Verhoeckx, K.
Source:Nutrients, 10, 10, 19 October
Identifier: 843129
doi: doi:10.3390/nu10101545
Keywords: Nutrition · Consumption · Food allergy · Food hypersensitivity · Legumes · Peanut · Prediction · Prevalence · Sensitization


Sensitization and allergy to legumes can be influenced by different factors, such as exposure, geographical background, and food processing. Sensitization and the allergic response to legumes differs considerably, however, the reason behind this is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study is to investigate if there is a correlation between legume protein consumption and the prevalence of legume sensitization. Furthermore, the association between sensitization to specific peanut allergens and their concentration in peanut is investigated. Legume sensitization data (peanut, soybean, lupin, lentil, and pea) from studies were analyzed in relation to consumption data obtained from national food consumption surveys using the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS), and What We Eat in America-Food Commodity Intake Database (WWEIA-FCID) databases. Data were stratified for children <4 years, children 4⁻18 years, and adults. Sufficient data were available for peanut to allow for statistical analysis. Analysis of all age groups together resulted in a low correlation between peanut sensitization and relative peanut consumption (r = 0.407), absolute peanut consumption (r = 0.468), and percentage of peanut consumers (r = 0.243). No correlation was found between relative concentrations of Ara h 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 in peanut and sensitization to these peanut allergens. The results indicate that the amount of consumption only plays a minor role in the prevalence of sensitization to peanut. Other factors, such as the intrinsic properties of the different proteins, processing, matrix, frequency, timing and route of exposure, and patient factors might play a more substantial role in the prevalence of peanut sensitization.