RAPESEED POLLEN ALLERGY
Rapeseed crops are in the Brassicaceae
family of plants, this family include lots of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, swede and turnips. Canola oil used in Canada and the US is made from specific variants of rapeseed.
These plants are insect pollinated and the pollen is large in size, these are both factors which lends them to have low allergenicity and are less likely to cause allergic rhinitis, however close contact with the crop can cause asthma and other symptoms.
The only allergen recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in rapeseed is a 2S Seed Storage Protein
, but this has been identified as a food allergen. You can read more about rapeseed as a food allergen HERE
Other allergens found in other studies are profilin proteins
, polcalcin proteins
and a polygalacturonase.
The pollen season for rapeseed is March to July, peaking in May.
An allergy to rapeseed pollen is sometimes associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever).
A rapeseed pollen allergy is also linked to asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis.
As rapeseed pollen contains profilin proteins it can sometimes be linked to Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome (CMS Syndrome)
, this is when the immune system overreacts to foods because it has already been sensitised to similary shaped pollen. The symptoms of CMS Syndrome are called oral allergy symptoms as they affect the lips, mouth and throat.
Plants in the Brassicaceae
family of plants include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, swede, kale, kohlrabi, wasabi, cress, radish, mustard, horseradish and turnips. If you are allergic to the pollen of rapeseed you may also be allergic to the pollen of these plants, but eating them should cause no allergic symptoms.
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.
Other pollens containing polcalcin include alder, ragweed, wormwood, birch, grasses, juniper, olive and lilac.
Polygalacturonase protein are pollen allergens found in cedar, plane, various grasses, olive and cypress trees. They are found as a food allergen in papaya.
Worcester Pollen Forecast
Allergy UK - Managing your asthma and your allergic rhinitis throughout the seasons
Allergen Encyclopedia - Rapeseed
Science Direct - Rapeseed
London Allergy & Immunology Centre - Pollen
Pollen Library - Brassica rapa
Articles and Journals
Proteomic analysis of a clavata-like phenotype mutant in Brassica napus, 2020
Preacutionary labelling of cross-reactive foods: The case of rapeseed, 2016
Polygalacturonase (pectinase), a new oilseed rape allergen, 2003
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