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Thread: preservatives causing food allergy instead of food?

  1. #1
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default preservatives causing food allergy instead of food?

    I think Jacob's grapes allergy might be related to the preservatives in raisins and grape juice more than from the grapes themselves. Of course I haven't tested this yet but just thinking about it a lot.

    We have not given him anything with grapes since his last accidental exposure over 1 year ago. He was like a complete madman. He was so out of control it was very scary.

    I spoke with the allergist about my theory and he agrees with me that it could very well be something put on raisins and put in grape juice that causes the problems and not the grapes themselves.

    Unfortunately the only way to figure it out is to do a food test. We know he has had no exposures in a year so it would be a clean test.

    I think if I do it I'll start with fresh grapes. I guess I should by organic ones so they would be pesticide free (right?) Or would regular grapes be fine. I usually just get regular ones.

    From there he suggested that I keep the label from grape juice and keep track of ingredients that appear or don't appear in other foods that we know are safe.

    I know many of you have had to food investigations like this too. I think I'm more talking this aloud to help me think it through.

    How does this sound? I would really like to know if there are food additives or preservatives that could be causing problems in general too.

    thanks
    karen

    Update: talked to dh about it. He agrees that we should do a food test but wants me to start with raisins. I'm rethinking the whole thing and think maybe white grape juice would be best since that's what he reacted to last time. Ugh!! I better go to bed.
    k
    Last edited by pepperlc; 10-07-2007 at 12:05 AM.

  2. #2
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Was just on Welch's website

    Whats really interesting is the purple grape juice is just grapes from concentrate, water and ascorbic acid (vitamin c). Thats it.

    But white grape juice (which is what he reacted to) has sulfites (sp?) in it as a preservative.

    Raisins also traditionally have preservatives on them, but I just found this on the Sun Maid Raisin web site (I don't know if I believe them)

    Are there additives or preservatives in Raisins?
    A: In our Sun-Maid Natural Raisins there are no additives or preservatives. When the raisins are ready to be processed, we clean the raisins using large aspirators (vacuums), graders, and shakers to remove stems, dirt, and other foreign objects. We then do a very thorough washing in fresh water which rehydrates the raisins.

    This is something else they say
    Sulfur in dried fruit; is it safe?
    A: Most light colored dried fruits have been treated with sulfur to maintain the light color. Sulfur dioxide has historically been used in the preparation of dried fruits including dried apples, dried apricots, dried pears and golden raisins to prevent the darkening of fruits during drying. Without the use of sulfites, the fruit darkens and changes flavor as it dries. Sulfur dioxide halts these reactions which would otherwise occur spontaneously as the fruit dries.

    While scientific panels continue to judge sulfites as safe for the majority of consumers, sulfites have been implicated as initiators of reactions in a small subset of the asthmatic population. Please be assured that except for a small fraction of those who suffer from asthma, sulfiting agents have a very long history of safe use. Ancient Persian writings describe the use of sulfur dioxide to preserve a safe food supply, generations before refrigeration or fancy chemicals became known. All our packages of sulfite treated dried fruits contain a cautionary statement that the fruit contains sulfites to alert those who may be allergic.

    I have never bought golden raisins but they have the sulfites around couldn't it contaminate the regular raisins just like things made in a plant processed with tree nuts?

    Also found this info which further leads me to believe that it could be a sulfite allergy
    Raisins and Sulfites

    Commercially grown dried raisins may be treated with sulfur dioxide gas during processing. They may also be treated with sulfites to extend their shelf life.

    Sulfur-containing compounds are often added to dried foods like raisins as preservatives to help prevent oxidation and bleaching of colors. The sulfites used to help preserve dried raisins cause adverse reactions in an estimated one out of every 100 people, who turn out to be sulfite sensitive.

    Sulfite reactions can be particularly acute in people who suffer from asthma. The Federal Food and Drug Administration estimates that 5 percent of asthmatics may suffer a reaction when exposed to sulfites.

    Foods that are classified as "organic" do not contain sulfites since federal regulations prohibit the use of these preservatives in organically grown or produced foods. Therefore, concern about sulfite exposure is yet another reason to purchase organic foods.

  3. #3
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    Default I have been researching this a bit too.

    My 3.5 yr. old son has SID and I have noticed strong reactions based upon what he eats thoughout the day. When we cut out artificial colors, flavors, additives, sugar etc. , there is improvement in behavior. I plan on asking my ped. about the Feingold program / diet to see what he thinks. It is interesting reading. Good luck on figuring things out with your son.
    Emily

  4. #4
    Laura H1 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Yes, I believe it is the preservatives....

    One or more of the books I've been reading talks about Sulfur Dioxide (google it and look at the Wikipedia entry for a quick read)...

    Foods not listing sulfites as an additive could still have been treated with Sulfur Dioxide... sulfites give me migraines, hands down... I'm quite irritable after consuming something with them...

    I'm also sensitive to nitrites and nitrates (cured meats and hot dogs, for example)... give me migraines and make me irritable...

    it's is interesting that they mentioned the smell of sulfur dioxide... I swear my body seems to know that a food contains it, as I get that "smell" in my nose, so I avoid it...

    also MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a big "excitoxin" (toxic to the brain and cells of the body).... see if you can get ahold of the books I listed in the post to Susan... let me see if I can find it... I'll post back...

    okay here is the link found within Susan's OP (wholistic pedi's)

    One of the books discussed the rotation diet... I'm going to consult with Dr. Perlmutter and see if this is something to consider... I had heard of the "rotation diet" before, but had been CLUELESS to it's meaning... it is VERY interesting... I believe that book is written by Philpott.... and the books by Dr. Perlmutter discuss "excitoxins" and how it negatively affects our brains, bodies and behavior at a cellular level... he also has very respectable medical journal references (bibliographies) in his books...

    We are trying to go back to WHOLE foods only... meats, fruits and veggies... it is a slow process as it takes the energy to shop for the items (with kids in tow, argh!) and finding the time to menu plan...

    supposedly organic foods are NOT allowed to be gassed with Sulfur Dioxide... we have been eating various dried fruits from an organic market lately and I have not been getting migraines... I DEFINITELY see an improvement in Christian's behavior... but not really seeing any changes in the rest of the family... other than we are eating more healthy...

    Laura
    Last edited by Laura H1; 10-08-2007 at 01:31 AM.

  5. #5
    sugarsue is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    I recently had a consultation with Caroline Sutherland (Medical Intutitive) and she said the girls were very sensitive to chemicals in food and to try to buy all organic foods from the healthfood store that have no chemicals in it. Can you say expensive? But we are trying it to see if it helps.

    I think it very well could be a sensitivity to something in the food. Good sluthing!

    Susan

  6. #6
    Laura H1 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default More on sulfites and grapes...

    here's an article from the NY Times Archives dated in 1987:

    TOPICS OF THE TIMES; Peel Me a Grape

    A year ago, the Federal Food and Drug Administration barred the use of sulfites as preservatives for fresh fruits and vegetables. It also requires packaged-food labels to disclose the use of sulfites, which can cause illness or death in asthmatics and other people with special sensitivity. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency continues to allow the use of sulfites on table grapes without adequate warning.

    Under pressure from California growers, the E.P.A. recently rescinded a rule that would have banned sulfites on grapes sold in stores. The growers insist that frequent sulfite treatments are essential to protect grapes from mold during storage and shipping.

    They respond to worries about health risk by pointing out that there is no known case of a fatal grape-induced sulfite reaction. Since consumers at risk won't find that very reassuring, the E.P.A.'s new rule allows the sale of grapes containing high doses of sulfites - if 40 percent of the bunches carry warning labels.

    Why just 40 percent? That's enough, says the E.P.A., to warn that sulfites are present on all the grapes. But it's far more likely that shoppers seeing tags on some bunches will conclude that unmarked bunches are sulfite-free. E.P.A.'s middle name ought to be protection.


    WHAT?????? I've never seen grapes labeled, and we buy grapes every week! I had NO idea they are likely gassed with Sulfur Dioxide!

    A month ago, I switched from the big plastic containers of Juicy Juice to the small concentrated cans... guess what? the cans have SULFITES ( I returned them and bought the large plastic jugs again, which do not list sulfites as an additive)....

    Here's another article that mentions shredded potatoes and dried potatoes (for making mashed potatoes) have sulfites added... Link to article that is rather concise and consistent with what I've turned up through Googling: (1) sulfites and foods, (2) sulfites and grapes

    Grapes are a fruit exempt from the "no sulfite" rule... and if less than 10ppm can be detected, then they do not have to be labeled as containing sulfites????

    Thanks for beginning this thread Karen, eventhough I've been trying to avoid sulfites for a long time by reading labels, I had no idea my boxed mashed potatoes and table grapes had them! argh! Chris eats grapes EVERYDAY!

    I knew about dried fruits, so we have avoided them until recently when a "Wildoats Market" opened (sells organic, sulfite-free dried fruits in bulk)... I believe they have recently been bought out by Whole Foods Market...

    sorry for rambling... just wanting to share what I turned up too...

    This really could be the answer for Jacob!

    best wishes, Laura

  7. #7
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    yes! good luck.

  8. #8
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Its so overwhelming that I almost don't know where to start. His behavior is very up and down - is it food, is it something else, is it sleep? who knows.

    I guess the first place I might try first is the white grape juice and see what happens with that. I know it was a problem before.

    I also wonder if some of this is just low level almost under the radar exposures that trigger issues but not major ones.

    Make sense? I'll have to look at the books you posted. I saw the list

    I totally understood your post on PAI too. Jacob still mouths things and he is 4 1/2. In fact there is almost always something in his hands or mouth or both. Which is why I sent the stuff back. It was so easy and sees like a why not situation. What if they pass their stuff on to other parents whose kids do mouth things.
    karen

  9. #9
    sugarsue is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Karen, did you ever look at this site...?

    http://www.wholisticpeds.com/default...56655663&n1=16

    We are in the process of getting Savanna tested and this morning I thought how great it would be if this doc could take a look at Jacob. Once I start getting our results in, I'll keep you posted.

    Susan

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