Foxtail Millet Allergy Test
Latin name: Setaria italica
Source material: Peeled seeds
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Common names: Foxtail millet, Italian millet, German millet, Hungarian millet, Siberian millet
Foxtail millet is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Foxtail Millet Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
The term millet covers the seeds of a broad range of taxonomically distinct species of grass.
Foxtail millet (and the other plants bearing the name millet) are not close relatives of wheat or other cereals, and tend to be cultivated in areas where more popular cereal crops are unable to flourish. They are also ideal where a swift yield is more desirable than a large one, for example in nomadic communities, as the plant matures quickly.
In developed countries, foxtail millet is used mainly in animal fodder and for bird seed. It is an annual grass which yields seedheads containing multiple small seeds, each around 2mm long, covered by a thin, paper-like hull, which can be removed effectively via threshing.
The main production area is China, but this is the most important millet in Japan and is widely cultivated in India. Its early maturity and efficient use of available water make it suitable for raising in dry areas.
It has the longest history of cultivation among the millets, having been grown in India since antiquity.
Foxtail Millet Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens present in foxtail millet have yet been characterised.
A number of proteins have been isolated and described as occurring in foxtail millet. The allergenic potential of these proteins was, however, not evaluated.
Foxtail Millet Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Studies have not reported cross-reactivity between millet and barley, maize, oats, wheat, or grass pollen.
Cross-allergenicity among rice, wheat, maize, japanese millet and foxtail millet has been shown. The clinical relevance of the relevant allergen was not however examined.
Foxtail Millet Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Hypersensitivity to cereals may occur via inhalation or ingestion, but reported allergy to foxtail millet is rare.
IgE antibodies against foxtail millet were found in serum of patients with atopic dermatitis with or without bronchial asthma.
Crude extracts of foxtail millet may contain aflatoxins.
Millet diets rich in C-glycosylflavones are goitrogenic, which means that they can interfere with the uptake of iodine by the thyroid. When not enough iodine is available, this affects the production of certain hormones in the thyroid, and ultimately can cause enlargement of the gland, known as goitre. This effect can often be offset by supplementing with iodine.