Authors: The World's Healthiest Foods
I have a latex allergy and was recently told that avocados and latex are somehow related. Can you clarify this for me?
Between 30-50% of individuals who have allergies to latex may also have allergic reactions to certain plant foods including avocados, bananas, mangos, papayas, and chestnuts. Currently, the most conclusive evidence suggests that foods most likely to cross-react with latex are uncooked foods containing enzymes called chitinases, which have some similar protein structures to the proteins found in latex. I use the qualifier "uncooked" here because some evidence suggests that the cooked forms of these foods may be acceptable since cooking can bring about changes in the structure of the food's chitinase enzymes. Legumes, for example, also contain chitinase enzymes but are seldom involved in latex food allergy, presumably because they are rarely eaten uncooked.