Coconut Allergy Test
Latin name: Cocos nucifera
Source material: Fresh coconut meat
Common names: Coconut, Common Coconut
Coconut is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Coconut Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Coconuts are native to tropical eastern regions, but today are also grown in the tropical parts of the United States, in Central and South America, and in Africa.
Principal exporters of coconuts include Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana.
The coconut flesh, known as the “meat” can be eaten either raw or cooked, alone or in a great variety of dishes. The sap produces palm wine and vinegar.
Coconut milk derives from the unripe nuts and is used fresh or fermented. Desiccated coconut consists of dried and shredded “meat”.
Coconut oil is widely used in processed foods such as margarine. It may be burned for illumination and is often used for making natural soaps and other health products, detergents and so forth.
Coconut oil is also used by hypothyroid sufferers to increase body metabolism and to lose weight.
Coconut Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Several allergens present in coconut have been isolated, including two globulins and a profilin, isolated from the tree pollen.
Coconut water contains the proteins glutelin and prolamin, however allergenic potential has not been assessed.
Coconut Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected.
Cross reactivity between coconut and soy, walnut and hazelnut has been demonstrated.
There may be a weak association between latex allergy and allergy to coconut.
Coconut Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Coconut may uncommonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals.
A baby of 8 months, fed from birth with maternal milk, developed severe gastro-intestinal symptoms due to the presence of coconut oil in an infant formula.
A report described 2 coconut-allergic patients. The first was a 30-year-old pollen-allergic man monosensitised to coconut who presented with severe oropharyngeal itching, throat hoarseness, and gastric pain 10 minutes after the intake of fresh coconut.
The second was a 4-year-old girl with a previous allergy to walnut, but not allergic to pollen, who developed anaphylaxis on coconut ingestion. Within 15 minutes of eating a piece of fresh coconut, she experienced intense oropharyngeal itching, followed by facial angioedema, cough, wheezing and dyspnoea requiring emergency treatment.
Monosensitisation to coconut was described in a 64-year-old woman who experienced generalised urticaria, facial and uvula oedema, dysphagia and dyspnoea a few minutes after eating a coconut biscuit. She also experienced bronchoconstriction, hypotension and hypoxemia minutes after eating a sweet containing, among other ingredients, coconut. She was not sensitised to the other ingredients.
A 3-year-old boy was described as experiencing abdominal pain, vomiting, oral allergy syndrome, and oedema of the eyelids immediately after ingesting a coconut sweet. A year after this episode, he experienced the same symptoms after eating a small portion of fresh coconut.
Anaphylaxis following the ingestion of coconut has been reported.
Contact dermatitis to coconut has been more commonly reported than coconut food allergy.
A study sought to describe the prevalence of allergenic foods and herbs in pediatric skin care products and found that coconut was the most common food present.
Substances manufactured from coconut and coconut oil are widely used as surface-active agents in hand gels, hand-washing liquids, shampoos and dish-washing liquids, and may result in contact dermatitis.
Pollen from the coconut tree has been reported to result in rhinitis and asthma in coconut pollen-sensitised individuals.