The grass pollen and wheat

Posted: April 28, 2014 in Interesting stuff, Where does the allergy come from
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graspollenGrass pollen probably cause most people suffering hay fever  the most severe problems. Normally grass pollen are in the air from May onwards until September, but thanks to climate change the hay fever season has been seen to start earlier also last longer, as recently reported here. Worldwide grass pollen are found to cause hay fever more frequently than any other kind of pollen – and only 30 % of the European population is allergic to grass pollen.

Like with birch pollen, this form of so-called pollinosis also does cause some cross sensitivities. A cross sensitivity to soy has been found to occur with an allergy against grass pollen, likewise with an allergy to birch pollen. The grass pollen allergy should be of interest to those who suffer a wheat-/gluten-intolerance, since it has been found that it happily goes hand in hand with each other. Actually, this should not be too much surprise, because a cross sensitivity develops if another usually harmless environmental substance is chemically built in a very similar structure like one specific allergen, which the immune system cannot distinguish anymore at some point. Grasses are divided into two groups: sweet grass and fen-sedge. Of importance for the grass pollen allergy is the group of sweet grasses, which are primarily grain and fodder plants. Those include, for example, rye, oat and wheat. And that’s where we can see the connection between the ‘normal’ grass pollen allergy and the wheat intolerance: the immune system may not like the pollen of bluegrass, for example , says spontaneously ‘No’ to a fresh wheat bun from the bakery. However, it must also be noted that a wheat-/glutenintolerance is already genetically programmed, resulting in the fact that it is more likely for a grass pollen allergy to occur later as a side effect of the intolerance, but the intolerance was not probably noticed before.

The following list might let you see the correlations more clearly:

Other pollen / plants : rye, wheat, oats, corn, barley, sweet vernal grass, timothy, orchard grass, ryegrass ( pineapple), rape, mugwort, birch
Legumes : pea, bean , peanut , lentil , soybean
Fruits : banana, apple , kiwi , cantaloupe , watermelon
Vegetables : Tomatoes , potatoes , swiss chard , spinach , olive
Spices : curry, peppermint

Compared to the list of possible cross reactions of the birch pollen, this list is not as long. Interestingly, you can see that the birch is a cross allergen from grass pollen and can thus bring forward an allergy or even intolerance to certain flours. Moreover, rye and oats were used by our ancient ancestors already only as food for their livestocks, whereas spelt and einkorn were preferably used for their own food.


Sources: kreuzallergie.comernaehrung.deOnmedaMartin

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