Flaxseed allergy

Flax (Linum usitatissimum) seeds are increasingly used in bread and as laxatives. Hypersensitivity to flaxseed has been infrequently described. This case report from Spain describes anaphylaxis induced by flaxseed ingestion in a 39-year-old woman.

A type I hypersensitivity reaction was suggested by the clinical course, positive skin prick test(SPT), and histamine release test performed with linseed extracts. The presence of linum-specific IgE (sIgE) was confirmed by immunoCAP assay.

Flaxseed (Linum) might be a source of allergic sensitization that should be taken into account due to its widespread distribution at health food stores.

The treatment is similar to that of other food allergies - avoidance and EpiPen use in case of an anaphylactic reaction.


Anaphylaxis to Linum. León F, Rodríguez M, Cuevas M. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2003 Jan-Feb;31(1):47-9.

Related reading:

Allergy on Flickr: "EpiPen. Another flaxseed incident today. No more munching on food samples at Costco."

A story on Flickr: "So a funny thing happened at lunch...."

Image source: Amazon.com, not a recommendation to buy any products.

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