Garlic is a bulb from a plant in the Amaryllidaceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family include chives, leeks and onions.
A recent 2022 study has shown that garlic contains genes for the allergen thaumatin
. This is a stable protein, meaning it is not damaged by heat or freezing, it is responsible for giving a food its sweetness.
Garlic is a well recognised cause of allergic contact dermatitis and urticaria. Patch testing using neat garlic can cause false-positive reactions because of diallyl disulfide which is found in the raw garlic bulb which acts as an irritant on the skin.
Diallyl disulfide is used as a garlic flavouring in food and garlic oil.
An allergy to garlic after ingestion is more commonly linked to Non-IgE allergy
than a true IgE allergy. It is important if you think you are allergic to complete a food diary to ensure you are not eliminating large groups of food unnecessarily. There are tips on how to make a Food Diary
Garlic is one of the few fresh foods that contain a moderate amount of sulphites
. Sulphites are inorganic salts used in preservations and have the potential to cause symptoms of food intolerance to those sensitive to sulphites, this food intolerance is more common in asthmatics. An improvement in symptoms can be made with a change to a low sulphite diet.
Garlic is 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.
Garlic is a food low in 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.
There is no information on syndromes associated with garlic allergy.
Garlic is a plant in the Amaryllidaceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family include chives, leeks and onions. If your allergy is severe these plants may also cause allergic reactions.
Other foods which contain thaumatin include apple, banana, peppers, celery, cherry, chilli, kiwi and peaches.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Garlic
DermNet NZ - Garlic
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Onion and Garlic Allergy
Allergic Living - Is it possible to be allergic to garlic?
Allergy information for: Garlic (Allium sativum)
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Science Direct - Thaumatin
Articles and Journals
Garlic Allergy, 2023
Thaumatin-like Protein (TLP) Genes in Garlic (Allium sativum L.): Genome-Wide Identification, Characterization, and Expression in Response to Fusarium proliferatum Infection, 2022
Onion and garlic induction of severe allergic reactions: sparse reporting cases, 2021
Herbalism in wound care: A case of garlic burn, 2021
Garlic burn injuries- a systematic review of reported cases, 2021
Allergic hypersensitivity to garlic and onion in children and adults, 2020
Garlic Allergy: A rare cause of anaphylaxis in infants, 2020
A Case of Garlic Induced Irritant Contact Dermatitis, 2019
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