Ackee is a fruit in the Sapindaceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family include lychee and horse chestnuts. The plants are native to West Africa and the Carribean, but the fruit have become more popular globally.
Unripe ackee can cause extreme drops in blood pressure as it contains a toxin called hypoglycin, this can sometimes be mistaken for an allergic food reaction as the symptoms of this include vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Hypoglycin poisoning causes Jamaican Vomiting Sickness which can result in death.
Lychees contain profilin proteins
and are closely related to ackee, so it could be that an allergic reaction could illicit from this protein, it is not a common allergy, so is not well studied.
Ackee is a low FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Ackee is one of the few fruits to contain a moderate amount of lectins
, another cause of food intolerance. Cooking foods with lectins makes them more digestible and can reduce the symptoms of food intolerance.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
If you are interested in which foods are linked to which food intolerances you can visit the Food Allergy Tool Page
An allergy to ackee fruit is not currently associated with any allergic syndromes.
If you are allergic to ackee you may also be allergic to other fruits in this family of plants which includes lychee and horse chestnuts.
MyBiohack - Naturally occuring dietary toxins
Web MD - Ackee
Articles and Journals
Ackee Fruit Toxicity, 2022
Theoretical Evaluation for the Function of Economical and Green Conducting Composite Material-based Chip for Jamaican Vomiting Sickness Diagnostics, 2021
Blighia sapida K.D. Koenig: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacological and nutritional properties, 2019
Akee Fruit and Jamaican Vomiting Sickness (Blighia sapida), 2009
Guinep fruit anaphylaxis: A case report, 1998
Anaphylaxis to ackee fruit, 1996
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