Blueberries are in the Ericaceae
family of plants which includes cranberries, huckleberries and heathers.
Blueberries contain Lipid Transfer Protein
. These are panallergens, proteins which are found in lots of groups of foods and can cause severe allergic reactions.
Like other berries, blueberries are high in natural Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) and are acidic, so can cause a rash on the face especially in babies and toddlers. Small children have a very low requirement of daily Vitamin C, so it can be easy for them to have more than the recommended intake if they eat a lot of fruit. This can cause gastrointestinal problems and point to food intolerance when this is not the case.
Blueberries are a high 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.
Blueberries are very high in salicylates
. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Other plants in the Ericaceae
family of plants include cranberries and huckleberries, if you suffer from an allergy to blueberries then you may also suffer allergic symptoms when eating these foods.
Blueberries are associated with LTP Syndrome
, where you are allergic to seemingly unrelated groups of foods, but they all contain lipid transfer proteins.
Other foods containing lipid transfer proteins include almonds, apple, apricot, asparagus, aubergine (eggplant), banana, beetroot, lupin, borlotti beans, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cherry, chestnut, corn, durum wheat, fennel, fig, goji berries, grapes, grapefruit, green beans, hazelnut, kidney beans, kiwi, lemon, lentil, lettuce, mulberry, mustard, onion, orange, parsley, parsnip, pea, peach, peanut, pear, plum, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry, sunflower seed, tangerine, tomato, walnut and wheat.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Blueberry
Science Direct - Lipid Transfer Proteins
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Web MD - Salicylate Allergy
Articles and Journals
Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) Induced Anaphylaxis in a Chinese Child with Lipid Transfer Protein Sensitization, 2023
Effects of a Low-FODMAP Diet on Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Both Children and Adults—A Narrative Review, 2023
Lipid transfer protein allergy: A review of current controversies, 2022
The diagnosis and management of allergic reactions in patients sensitized to non-specific lipid transfer proteins, 2021
Non-specific lipid transfer protein allergy in United Kingdom, 2019
Possible anaphylaxis to blueberry: potential cross-reactivity with other berries, 2018
The Biochemical Basis and Clinical Evidence of Food Allergy Due to Lipid Transfer Proteins: A Comprehensive Review, 2012
10 kDa lipid transfer protein: The main allergenic structure in a German patient with anaphylaxis to blueberry, 2009
Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful.
If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.