Key Allergens

Beetroot is a plant in the Amaranthaceae family of plants. This family includes quinoa and spinach. It is also referred to as beet or sugar beet.

The World Health Organization recognises 2 airway allergens associated with beetroot. Beta v 1 is an Ole e 1 like protein, which means it is similar in structure to the main allergenic protein in olive bushes.

Beta v 2 is a profilin protein which affects the airways. Profilin proteins are panallergens, which means they are in many foods and pollens and have the potential to cause allergic reactions in seemingly unrelated foods.

Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP) is also found in the leaves of beetroot. These proteins are resistant to heat and are found in many types of plants. Patients suffering from a more severe allergy to cooked fruit may be sensitised to this group of proteins.

Chitinase is an enzyme found in the leaves of beetroot. This is linked to latex allergy.

Food Intolerances

Food is moderate in sulphites Food is low in salicylates Food is high in FODMAP

When pickled, beetroot is moderate in sulphites. This is a food intolerance which is more common in asthmatics. An improvement in symptoms can be made with a change to a low sulphite diet.

Beetroot is a high FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. 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.

Fresh beetroot is low in Salicylates, canned beetroot may contain a moderate amount of salicylates. Salicylates have the potential to cause gastrointestinal food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.

You can read more about Food Intolerances on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.

Associated Syndromes

An allergy to beetroot is very loosely associated with Latex Food Syndrome as it can contain chitinase.

Cross Reactivity

Other plants which contain Ole e 1 like proteins include olive, pigweed, crocus, ash, privet, grasses, plantain, mesquite and lilac.

Other plants containing profilin inhalant allergens are ragweed, wormwood, birch, sunflower, mugwort, plantain, poplar and oak. Profilins are also found as food allergens in kiwi, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, orange, hazelnut, melon, carrot, strawberry, soya, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato and aubergine.

Common foods involved in LTP allergy include kiwi, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, pea, apricot, cherry, plum, almond, peach pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, grape, celery, peanut, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, chestnut, lemon, tangerine, orange, hazelnut, lettuce, lentils, lupin, green bean, pear, mustard, wheat and maize.

Other foods which contain chitinase include kiwi, chestnut, mango, banana, avocado, pomegranate, corn (maize) and date. Additional studies show chitinase has been identified in tamarind, cashew nuts and coffee.



Allergen Encyclopedia - Beetroot

Science Direct - Beetroot

Healthline - High FODMAP Foods

ATP Science - Salicylate Food List

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Allergy to Vegetables

Articles and Journals

The Effect Of Natural Dye Extract From Beetroot (Beta Vulgaris L.) On The Quality Of Lip Tint Cosmetic Products, 2024

A comprehensive review of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) bioactive components in the food and pharmaceutical industries, 2024

A hidden allergen of anaphylaxis: Beetroot, 2023

The effect of beetroot juice on airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma, 2022

Major latex protein-like encoding genes contribute to Rhizoctonia solani defense responses in sugar beet, 2020

Anaphylaxis to beetroot (Beta vulgaris): a case report, 2011

Characterization of a new antifungal non-specific lipid transfer protein (nsLTP) from sugar beet leaves, 2000

The identification of allergen proteins in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) pollen causing occupational allergy in greenhouses, 2008

Characterization of a new antifungal chitin-binding peptide from sugar beet leaves, 1997

An acidic class III chitinase in sugar beet: induction by Cercospora beticola, characterization, and expression in transgenic tobacco plants, 1993

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