Lupine allergy is not particularly common, but it may be an up and coming allergen in the United States.
What Is Lupine?Lupine, a member of the legume family, is closely related to soybeans, peas, peanuts, lentils and beans. It is a commonly used food in France and other Mediterranean countries, and is often ground into flour that is used to enhance the nutritional value of baked goods.
Lupine flour can be found in health food stores, and may be used to increase the nutritional value of various baked goods as a “hidden ingredient.”
How Common Is Lupine Allergy
Lupine is a well-known cause of allergic reactions, including urticaria and anaphylaxis, in the countries just mentioned. People in the United States, however, should take note: Since some people with peanut allergy appear to be at an increased risk of allergic reactions to lupine, allergic reactions to lupine may become more common amongst Americans in the future.
In a European study published in 2009, less than 2% of a large group of patients evaluated for food allergies showed positive allergy tests for lupine. Compared to peanut (8% of patients) and soy (11% of patients), sensitization to lupine wasn’t particularly common.
However, patients with positive allergy tests for other legumes were most likely to also show positive allergy tests to lupine, although most of these people didn’t have allergic reactions when eating lupine. There does appear to be cross-reactivity between peanut and lupine, since some people with peanut allergy can have allergic reactions to lupine.
Learn more about allergies to multiple legumes.
Hieta N, Hasan T, Makinen-Kiljunen S, Lammintausta K. Lupin Allergy and Lupin Sensitization Among Patients with Suspected Food Allergy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2009;103:233-7.
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