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J Am Diet Assoc. 2000 Nov;100(11):1381-4.

The latex and food allergy connection.

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  • 1College of Health, University of North Florida, Jacksonville 32224-2645, USA.


Natural rubber latex is used in the manufacture of many products in the United States. As natural rubber latex allergy becomes of increasing concern, dietitians need to have an understanding of this allergy and how it relates to workplace safety, employee health, and patient feeding and counseling. Natural rubber latex contains more than 35 proteins that may be related to Type I, Ig-E-mediated allergy in numerous segments of the population, including health care workers and patients. Many foods, especially chestnut, banana, and avocado, have the potential to cross-react with natural rubber latex. Chitinase enzymes, related to plant defense, are believed to be involved in this cross-reaction. A strong connection between food allergy and natural rubber latex allergy is recognized and described in this review.

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