Spinach Allergy Test
Latin name: Spinachia oleracea
Source material: Freeze-dried spinach
Common names: Spinach, Savoy spinach
Spinach is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Spinach Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Originating in the Middle East, spinach is recorded as having been cultivated in Spain since around the 8th century AD, and subsequently introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers. It is now produced globally and valued highly as a salad crop for its edible leaves.
Spinach is grown commercially for canning and freezing, as well as for fresh consumption, and since winter-hardy varieties of this annual are available, fresh spinach can be eaten year-round.
It is the only edible vegetable in the Chenopodiaceae family. Two varieties exist: Savoy which has wrinkled leaves and Semi-Savoy, which is a flat leafed variant.
Spinach may be used raw in salads, or cooked (usually by boiling or sautéing) as a vegetable or as part of another dish. Many dishes that have Spinach as an integral ingredient are described with the phrase à la Florentine. The seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, or can be sprouted and added to salads.
Spinach is a rich source of iron as well as of vitamins A and C. But because Spinach contains oxalic acid – which inhibits the body’s absorption of calcium and iron – the nutritional value is somewhat diminished. Some modern varieties have been developed that are low in oxalic acid.
The plant is carminative and laxative. In experiments, it has been shown to have hypoglycaemic properties. It has been used as a remedy for a variety of complaints.
Chlorophyll extracted from the leaves is used as an edible green or yellow dye.
Spinach Allergy Test: Allergen Description
One allergen present in spinach has been characterised, a profilin.
Spinach Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected, as well as to a certain degree among members of the family Amaranthaceae.
Cross-reactivity has been reported between spinach and chard.
Cross-reactivity was demonstrated between spinach and mushroom.
A study has shown possible cross-reactivity between spinach and latex
Spinach Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Spinach can induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals.
Two anaphylactic episodes to spinach occurring in a 31-year-old were reported. She also developed oral allergy syndrome to mushroom, and cross-reactivity was demonstrated between these 2 foods.
Oral allergy syndrome induced by spinach has been reported.
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis associated with food allergy to spinach has been reported.
A 51-year-old woman developed hypersensitivity pneumonitis to spinach powder used as a food dye.
A 30-year-old man with chronic occupational rhinitis and asthma as a result of exposure to spinach powder in a factory was described.
Phytodermatitis due to contact with Spinach has been reported.
Spinach contains a high level of histamine, and the differentiation of allergic reactions from pseudoallergic reactions caused by the histamine is important.
Due to the presence of oxalates, people with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should use special caution if including this plant in their diet, since it can aggravate their condition.