How can a soya allergy be managed?

Like with all food allergies, the best way to manage a soya allergy is to avoid soya. The good news is that this doesn't have to be total abstinence like with other food allergies. Soya proteins are not very potent allergens, and often, 100 times more soya protein is required for an allergic response compared with other food allergens. Roughly 90 % of the people who suffer from a soya allergy can eat up to 400 mg (milligrams) – compare this with 0.1 mg of hazelnut, 1 mg of egg, and roughly 3 mg of milk. As a result, food which contains small amount of soya is considered safe, such as soya oil or soya lecithin.

You should still aim to avoid more than 400 mg. Food which obviously contains soya, such as soya milk, soya sauce, soya beans, soya bean curd or butter, tempeh, and tofu should be avoided. Tempeh, shoyu, and misu have been fermented and the allergens have been partially destroyed, so the allergic reactions which result from eating these foods is generally less serious. Soya is also often used as a filler ingredient in many dishes. Read food labels carefully to make sure you do not take more than the “safe” amount of soya protein, and make sure you ask staff about how much soya has been used if you are eating out a restaurant.

There has been interest in a “hypoallergenic” soya bean. Scientists have discovered two naturally lines of soya beans without P34, the most common soya protein that causes allergic reactions. These two lines have not been genetically modified, and are genetically very similar.

Always carry your EpiPen with you if you are likely to suffer from anaphylaxis. You should also train your friends and family to use the EpiPen so they can give you the essential adrenaline when you need it.

Soya allergy Guide Index:

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