This is a simplified description of aldolase proteins – there are more resources available at the bottom of the page for further reading for those who are interested in knowing more.
What are aldolase proteins?
Many animal tissues contain aldolase proteins. They are proteins which are involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates in the body.
The aldolase proteins are often referred to as Aldolase A, B or Aldolase C. Aldolase A exists in most tissues but is predominately found in muscle. Aldolase C is present in the brain.
Aldolase proteins are considered to be minor panallergens. They are less commonly associated with allergy than Lipid Transfer Proteins
and seed storage proteins
, but have become more studied in recent years due to the possibility of cross reactivity between different species of fish and occasionally other meat sources.
These proteins vary from species to species in how the allergenicity is changed due to heat, but most studies show many are heat resistant and will still elicit an allergic reaction after cooking or processing.
Which foods contain aldolase proteins?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises 9 aldolase allergens which have been identified as causing allergic reactions after consumption of food.
Various species of fish
contain aldolase proteins. The WHO allergen database specifically mentions cod, catfish, salmon and tuna, but they have been found in multiple species of fish.
Aldolases have also been found in chicken
and snake meat.
Various moulds and fungi also contain aldolase, which can act as an airway allergen. This includes common mould, Aspergillus
What symptoms do they cause?
Allergy to foods containing aldolase proteins have a wide range of symptoms and severity including urticaria (hives or welts), angioedema (swelling under the skin), nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting or breathlessness and anaphylactic shock.
What is the importance of knowing whether a reaction is to aldolase or other allergens?
Multiple allergies are becoming more common and this often leads people to impose a strict restrictive diet on themselves. This can lead to a poor diet lacking in essential nutrients and frustration over a lack of eating options. Knowing which foods are the most likely to be causing your reactions can bring more options back into your diet.
This is why food diaries continue to be an important tool in diagnosis of your allergies – noting the times reactions took place and what medications were taken are a necessary starting point for a proper diagnosis.
There is more information on food diaries HERE
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