Allergy information for: Cocoa (Theobroma cacao )

  • Name: Cocoa
  • Scientific Name: Theobroma cacao
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    Food allergy to cocoa appears to be rare although occupational allergy in workers exposed to cocoa dust has been reported (Zuskin et al. 1998 [806]; Perfetti et al. 1997 [808]). However, self-reported allergy to cocoa appears to be common (Brugman et al. 1998 [809]). Because of this cocoa has been included in studies of the prevalence of food allergy (Young et al. 1994 [810]) and DBPCFC has been used.

    It has been suggested that intolerance to cocao involves biogenic amines. However, Jansen et al. (2003) [805] found no evidence for this. Moller et al. (1984) [575] in a study of of penicillin allergy in occupationally exposed individuals showed cocoa to produce non-allergic histamine release in basophil mediator release test. Becker et al. (1981) [21] extracted a species of 20 -40 kDa (centred on 26 kDa) which activates the factor XII-dependent pathways. However, the inflamatory activity may involve polyphenols binding to complement and does not necessarily involve IgE.

  • Taxonomic Information: NEWT
  • Last modified: 18 October 2006

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    References (7)

    • Moller NE, Stahl Skov P, Norn S
      Allergic and pseudo-allergic reactions caused by penicillins, cocoa and peppermint additives in penicillin factory workers examined by basophil histamine release.
      Acta Pharmacol Toxicol 55, 139-144. 1984
      PUBMEDID: 6208745
    • Jansen SC, van Dusseldorp M, Bottema KC, Dubois AE.
      Intolerance to dietary biogenic amines: a review.
      Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 91(3):233-40; quiz 241-2, 296.. 2003
      PUBMEDID: 14533654
    • Young E, Stoneham MD, Petruckevitch A, Barton J, Rona R.
      A population study of food intolerance.
      Lancet 343(8906):1127-1130.. 1994
      PUBMEDID: 7910231
    • Brugman E, Meulmeester JF, Spee-van der Wekke A, Beuker RJ, Radder JJ, Verloove-Vanhorick SP.
      Prevalence of self-reported food hypersensitivity among school children in The Netherlands.
      Eur J Clin Nutr. 52(8):577-81.. 1998
      PUBMEDID: 9725658
    • Perfetti L, Lehrer SB, McCants M, Malo JL.
      Occupational asthma caused by cacao.
      Allergy 52(7):778-80.. 1997
      PUBMEDID: 9265998
    • Zuskin E, Kanceljak B, Schachter EN, Godnic-Cvar J, Mustajbegovic J, Budak A.
      Respiratory function and immunological status in cocoa and flour processing workers.
      Am J Ind Med. 33(1):24-32.. 1998
      PUBMEDID: 9408526
    • Becker CG, van Hamont N, Wagner M
      Tobacco, cocoa, coffee, and ragweed: cross-reacting allergens that activate factor-XII-dependent pathways.
      Blood 58: 861-867.. 1981
      PUBMEDID: 7295998

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    Oral provocation

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    IgE cross-reactivity and Polysensitisation

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