Lupins are legumes in the Fabaceae
family of plants which also includes peanuts, lentils, peas, chickpeas, green beans and mung beans. If you want a more extensive list of legumes you can visit the Legume Page
White lupin is commonly grown in Mediterranean countries and can be ground into a flour and used in baked products. More recently lupin seeds can be found in fried, battered foods.
There are two types of lupins identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as having identified allergens.
The key allergen in white lupin is Lup a 5 which is a plant profilin protein
. These are panallergens which can cause allergic reactions across groups of foods.
The other lupin identified by WHO is narrow leaved lupin, more widely distributed across Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia.
This plant is different in that it contains Lup an 1, a 7S seed storage protein
, also known as vicilin which is a protein more commonly found in nuts and seeds.
Lup an 3 is a Lipid Transfer Protein
(LTP). Again, these are panallergens with the potential to cause allergies across different groups of foods.
Lupin 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.
Lupin is a food low 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.
Most legumes are high in lectins, lupin has a low lectin content, 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.
You may be suffering from LTP Syndrome
if you have reactions to various fruits, vegetables and nuts and your reactions continue to be severe after you have discarded the peel and have cooked the food.
Allergy to lupin is sometimes linked to Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome
as the sensitising allergen is a profilin protein called Art v 4, these proteins are also sometimes also called Bet v 2 proteins.
There is also a link between lupin and Latex Food Syndrome
. The plant involved in latex allergy Hevea brasiliensis
, the rubber tree plant, has an allergen called Hev b 8 which is a profilin protein. Those very sensitised to latex may have a contact allergic reaction from other foods or plants containing profilin proteins, there is less evidence of this than sensitisation to other latex linked proteins like hevein and chitinases
Other edible plants in the Fabaceae
family of plants are gum arabic, peanut, carob beans (locuts bean gum), chickpea (garbanzo beans), guar gum, edamame beans (soya), liquorice, lentils, runner beans, butter beans (lima bean), green beans, kidney beans, pea, tamarind fenugreek, broad beans (faba beans), adzuki beans (red beans) and mung beans.
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 containing 7S seed storage proteins are cashew, pecan, hazelnuts, buckwheat, soyabean, walnut, macadamia nut, lentils, peas, sesame and mung bean.
Other foods containing profilin allergens are celery, peanut, soyabeans, lychee, walnut, almonds, mustard, hazelnut, kiwi, pineapple, chilli, melon, orange, strawberry, apple, banana, aubergine (eggplant), peach, pear, tomato, dates, cherry, carrot, barley and wheat. Allergic reactions to some of these foods may be considered a marker of profilin hypersensitivity.
Note that the food lists on this page are not exhaustive, you can visit the Cross Reactivity Tool for the most up to date information.
Science Direct - Lupin
Allergen Encyclopedia - Lupin
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Lupin
Allergy information for: Lupin or Lupine (Lupinus Albus)
Foods Matter - Legume Allergies
Lipid Transfer Proteins (LTP Syndrome)
AAAAI - Lupin Allergy
Eczema Life - Salicylate Research
FODMAPIA - Lupin Flour
Articles and Journals
Lupin allergy - Another member of the peanut gallery? 2023
Nutritional management of immediate hypersensitivity to legumes in vegetarians, 2022
Lipid Transfer Protein allergy in the United Kingdom: Characterization and comparison with a matched Italian cohort, 2019
First reported case in Canada of anaphylaxis to lupine in a child with peanut allergy, 2018
Immunoreactivity changes during lupin seed storage proteins digestion, 2017
Lupin allergy and lupin sensitization among patients with suspected food allergy, 2009
Proteomic analysis of lupin seed proteins to identify conglutin Beta as an allergen, Lup an 1, 2008
Short communication: Lupin allergy in peanut‐allergic children and teenagers, 2008
Lupin allergy in a child, 1999
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