Meat may be to blame for certain allergies

March 1, 2010 2:06:39 PM PST
Red meat could be the culprit in many unidentified allergic reactions.

When you think of food allergies meat isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind. But a new study finds eating meat may be a much more common trigger for anaphylaxis. That's a severe and potentially deadly allergic reaction.

The culprit may be a carbohydrate in meat called alpha-gal. In this study, patients with recurrent severe anaphylaxis with no known cause took allergy tests, and 25 out of 60 had positive responses to alpha-gal.

Researchers say they believe this allergy is wider spread in the human population as a whole than initially expected.

The findings were presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting in New Orleans.