SWEET POTATO (YAM) ALLERGY
Sweet potatoes are a vegetable in the Convolvulaceae
family of plants, they are also called yam in North America. Other plants in this family include vines and bindweeds.
Sweet potato has been shown to contain beta amylase, which has been identified as the protein most likely to be the triggering allergen in sweet potato allergy.
Sweet potatoes are not closely related to potatoes
, which are in the Nightshade family of plants, also called Solanaceae
Sweet Potato is a low 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.
Sweet Potato is a food moderate 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.
Sweet potato is linked to FPIES (Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrom) and is a food associated with worsening Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
Eating too much sweet potato, especially in young children, is occasionally linked to carotenoderma, which is where eating lots of foods containing beta carotene makes the skin turn a yellow-orange colour.
Beta amylase proteins are also found in wheat and barley.
Note these food lists are not exhaustive, you can find the most up to date information on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Sweet Potato
DermNet NZ - Carotenoderma
Science Direct - Sweet Potato
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Articles and Journals
FPIES updates from a single U.S. pediatric center, 2023
Food Protein-induced Enterocolitis Syndrome: Outcomes from Standardized Oral Food Challenges, 2023
Yellow Hands and Feet in a 14-month-old Girl, 2021
Diet in dermatology: a review, 2020
Clinical Features and Culprit Food Allergens of Korean Adult Food Allergy Patients: A Cross-Sectional Single-Institute Study, 2019
Generalized urticaria caused by ingestion of sweet potato cake, 2018
Practical approach to nutrition and dietary intervention in pediatric food allergy, 2013
Anaphylaxis caused by Ipomoea Batatas, 2004
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