chapter
15 Pages

Soy Allergy

WithTadashi Ogawa

Food allergy is an abnormal response of the body’s immune system to food components. The proportion of patients with food allergies is considered to be increasing to about 10% in the general population in the developed countries. In countries of the European Union adverse reactions caused by soybean formulas are seen in 14 to 35% of cow’s milk–allergic infants. In food-allergic subjects with atopic dermatitis, milk, egg, soybean, peanut, and wheat account for almost 90% of allergic reactions. The allergenicity of soybean resides in the protein fractions, not in soybean oil itself, whereas oxidized soybean oil has been shown to enhance the immunoglobulin E-binding ability against soybean or other food proteins. In the United States, 28% of food-allergic patients with atopic dermatitis were reported to be soybean positive by a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test. The allergen was hardly detected in fermented products, such as soybean paste (miso) and fermented soybean (natto).