August 13, 2011

Soy Allergy: How Can You Prevent It?

You may sometimes feel a little deprived if you are not able to enjoy something which others can. For example, you may like the great taste of chili soy, but your system is not able to support its digestion process. In other words your body may not tolerate soy or its products, thereby demarcating you as "allergic" to them. Just see the irony, soybeans and soy based products are the best sources of plant based protein and you are not able to make the most out of it like every other normal guy.

What is Soy Allergy?

Soy allergy is a type of food allergy. It is one of the major and most common food allergies generally caused by hypersensitivity to dietary substances present in soy. The allergy can be mild to life threatening. According to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, soy allergies are particularly common in infants and young children. Experts at the U.S. Department of Agricultural Research Service opine that there are up to 15 different proteins in soybeans that may incite allergic reactions in individuals. These proteins are mainly present in the seeds. And the major allergens present in soy are Vicilin and legumin.
The Soy Allergy Symptoms

Some of the symptoms caused by this allergy are:

    * Acne (sudden severe bouts of acne)
    * Angioedema (swelling in some localized areas like face, neck, lips, larynx, hands and feet)
    * Rhinitis (hay fever - inflammation of the nasal passage)
    * Diarrhea
    * Atrophic dermatitis
    * Itching in the mouth
    * Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

About Anaphylaxis, a Severe Soy Allergy

A severe soy allergy called anaphylaxis is rare. It affects people suffering from asthma or if they are allergic to other foods such as peanuts. It causes more extreme signs and symptoms including:

    * Restriction in airways, swollen throat and development of lump in the throat which makes breathing difficult
    * Severe sudden drop in blood pressure
    * Rapid pulse rate
    * Loss of consciousness

How Can You Prevent Soy Allergies?

    * Avoid Soy Products: You should avoid consuming soy based products like soybean, tempeh, tofu, soy milk, soy cheese, miso, soy flour and soy sauce.

    * Read Labels Carefully: Soy proteins may be present in ingredients such as vegetable protein, natural flavorings or can be used as food additives. So you need to go through the food labels thoroughly.

    * Avoid Foods That Contain Lecithin: Avoid foods containing ingredients like lecithin, mono diglycerides and monosodium glutamate.

    * Avoid HVP Intake: Intake of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) which is generally obtained from soy should be avoided. So better check with the manufacturer before using them.

    * Check With the Restaurant Staff: While eating out, ask the restaurant staff about the ingredients. Soy flours are used to add proteins to a wide variety of recipes.

    * Decrease the Intake of Processed Foods: If possible, try to decrease the consumption of processed foods, which may contain hidden soy.

    * Avoid Consuming Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E oil is generally derived from soy. Therefore, you need to avoid taking vitamin E oil.

    * Check the Ingredients of Cosmetics: Check out for cosmetics, as many of these products make use of soy meal and soy oil.

    * Avoid Soy Based Cuisines: Avoid having Chinese and Japanese cuisines, as these recipes contain lots of soy in their preparation.

    * Take Supplements: Try to have supplements that combine the effects of Vitamin C with bioflavonoid. These supplements help the body to cope with allergens while decreasing inflammation and supporting the immune system.

    * Practice Care While Having Peas and Beans: Be careful while having peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lima beans and string beans. These foods can cause severe allergic reactions in soy-sensitive individuals.

    * Avoid Using Soy Oil: Do not use soy oil. It can be used in margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces and vegetable shortenings.

One of the best ways to prevent soy allergies is to ensure that it is not present in any form in your food items. Today, soy is an integral part of every cuisine, because of its various health benefits. So, try to be extra careful and more alert.


  1. Today, I'll be grateful I don't have a soy allergy. I didn't realize that soy was in so many foods!

  2. I'm so glad we don't have to deal with very many allergies here! My neighbor has to deal with the peanut thing...epi-pen and all.