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avoiding lecithin and oil in soy allergies or intolerances

(18 Posts)
SamN Tue 05-Apr-05 10:44:27

As far as possible, I avoid both the above - which can be pretty tricky as I'm sure you all know. But I've just read that these ingredients may be okay as they only contain 'minute amounts' of the protein. I guess it's analagous to using ghee if you have a cow's milk allergy.

Here's the news from the University of Nebraska . I am somewhat sceptic about this as their research was funded by the United Soybean Board!

There's also a research abstract here from some research in Japan which says samples of both soya oil and lecithin contained proteins but that they have little antigenicity.

However I'm still suspicious as something causing an intolerance won't necessarily show up on these IgE tests in any case. And I'm not sure if my son has an allergy or an intolerance and he's never been tested properly.

So I guess I'm going to carry on avoiding both - but it would be good to know if anyone has successfully started to use either with no bad effects! Or if anyone has had advice on this matter from a health professional they trust.

SamN Tue 05-Apr-05 10:52:31

update - I haven't found a research paper by the Nebraska scientists in the first article, but I have found two more research papers saying that soy lecithin does contain IgE binding proteins. So (doing my thinking online here) I think I shall continue to avoid it.

Chandra Wed 06-Apr-05 00:50:42

I have heard of that. If you have a child with peanut allergy, you should avoid soy aswell.

Saacsmum Wed 06-Apr-05 08:52:00

Hi there, I have read some of the research but we continue to avoid as well as I don't feel it is worth the risk. Will be interested to see what others think and have found out about this. How are you going by the way?

ruty Tue 19-Apr-05 17:14:21

and neocate contains soy oil! Great.

SamN Tue 19-Apr-05 19:24:18

Interesting about the neocate, ruty. I have had various medical professionals trying to convince me that the 'hypoallergenic' formulas would be worthwhile, and haven't properly looked into it but remained determined to carry on breastfeeding for as long as necessary. The info about soy oil makes me extra glad I'm holding out on this one.

ruty Tue 19-Apr-05 19:50:08

i asked about it and they said its 'highly purified' but you have to wonder.

tatt Wed 20-Apr-05 08:32:49

Don't know if this is any help or not but my severely peanut allergic child gets a minor reaction in her throat when she drinks soya milk. However she has soya flour in food with no problem at all. We haven't been to the allergy clinic since trying her with soya milk so we haven't discussed it with the consultant or had it properly tested. Still at least one child who seems to have a problem with soya milk can cope with other forms of soya. Soya is the same family as peanut.

Saacsmum Fri 22-Apr-05 10:13:04

HI, sorry have been off line for a few days and havent kept up with the thread. The day we got the Neocate and read that it contained soy I rang the paed who had just told us to put him on it when he was the one who diagnosed a soy allergy. We were told that it is such a minute amount and highly processed that it was very unlikely to cause a reaction. However my concern was that DS was reacting to soy through breastmilk which surely after being through me as a filter would also be in small amounts I didnt like my chances. Unfortunately there are no other options apparently all the hypoallergenic formulas contain it and MOST soy allergic children can tolerate it. I would love to know what happens for the rest. Anyway it was another reason why we continued wiht breastfeeding, we are doing a soy challenge at the moment, so far so good but it is early days

SamN Wed 27-Apr-05 23:07:34

Hi there I've been offline too for a while. We saw a paediatric allergist and immunologist today and he said to carry on avoiding soya oil and lecithin as we don't know what part of the soya it is that people are reacting to.

I hope the soy challenge went well saacsmum? What did you use for the challenge?

Saacsmum Thu 28-Apr-05 04:41:36

hi, I started having dairy free marg on my toast oh and the toast too is new! It is great to have sliced bread again, soymilk on my brekkie etc, etc, so far none of the symptoms he had last time have returned. No blood in nappies, no bloating, no spots/hives, some excema but we think it is related to teething rather than soy and no more unsettled than usual. YAY! He will still be over 2 when we try him directly on soy but it will be great if this trend continues and I can eat it.

Utka Tue 03-May-05 21:30:33

Sorry to jump in mid topic, but I was caught by the mention of soy lecithin.

We discovered dd1 was allergic to soya when I tried giving her the milk as an alternative to dairy. Horrible reaction - worse than she gets to egg, banana, kiwi fruit and nuts.

However, I hadn't twigged that soy flour and lecithin seem to be used a lot too. We've just been in NZ for 2 months, where dd had another terrible reaction. The only thing we could put it down to was the soy flour in the bread. At the time, I thought it was just NZ bread, but since returning last week to the UK, I've been through the entire bread stock at Sainsbury's only to discover that it applies to UK bread too. Even their own in-store baked stuff has it.

Has anyone come across anything that doesn't include soy flour, or should I go out and buy a bread maker? Also, what is soy lecithin used in and what are the Ige thingies you refer to?

Thanks, and sorry for hi-jacking the thread. You all seem to know a lot about it.

tatt Wed 04-May-05 09:07:53

I saw elsewhere a reference to tescos finest multi grain bread being soy free but I'm afraid I haven't checked it personally. Certainly soy is in most breads so a breadmaker would probably be a good investment.

IgE stands for Immunoglobulin E. This is the term used for the antibodies produced by white blood cells during an allergic response. To quote "These IgE antibodies bind the allergen and attach to Mast Cells, which release Histamine. This triggers the beginning of the Allergic Reaction, which may manifest anything from a mild itch to anaphylaxis and death. Late phase reactions also may follow 6 to 24 hours later with Inflammation and tissue swelling."

alicatsg Wed 04-May-05 09:15:27

soy and soya lecithin are in some startling products these days - most breads, most biscuits/chocolate/cake, practically all ready meals, pasta. I'm allergic to nuts and soy and consequently have to avoid it - its a real pain. The only solution with bread was to make our own but even then you have to check the flour packets carefully!

I can never work out why its there and what it adds.

Saacsmum Wed 04-May-05 10:00:27

Hi, in NZ there are some pita breads, and bagals that are soy and dairy free, other than that a bread maker is wonderful though watch the ingredients of ready mixes and flours. Woolworths in NZ also do a tiger loaf which is both soy and dairy free so worth continuing to check generic brands baked on site of supermarkets over there. Crumpets are sometimes ok as well, that at least gives you a few bread options.

SamN Wed 04-May-05 10:47:37

Hi there all, yes it took us a while to realise about the soya flour in bread as well. Our staple, unless I can be bothered to bake (which isn't often ), is Hovis Multi Grain (NOT Country Grain or any of their other healthy type breads unfortunately). We also use pitta breads or crumpets quite a bit but you do really have to be careful and check the label. (I've just accidentally bought a ginger cake with soya lecithin in it - a different brand to our usual. So dp will have to eat it all .)

Tescos have just produced a soya free list which they have sent to me. It has Tesco Finest Crusty Malted Wheat Bread 800g and Tesco Finest Crusty Wholemeal Bread 800g. The Asda Organic Wholemeal used to be soya free but I guess it's not any more as I can't find it on their list.

We don't buy anything from instore bakeries any more although someone in ASDA assured my mum they didn't add any soya flour (um, so why aren't all the bakery products on the soya-free list?) and dp's dad always buys bread and cakes for us from the in-store bakeries but he's not very good at checking labels in any case. So dp gets to eat even more .

The ASDA free from soya list is here (click on the Free From logo). I haven't found the Tesco one on their website and of course they have a disclaimer on the list they've sent me saying that ingredient lists are always being altered and so we should always check product labels. Sainsburys don't do a soya-free list yet. I don't think they've cottoned on to it yet.

Most chocolate has soya lecithin in it. Some Duchy Originals and some Plamil products don't have any soya but you do have to check the labels.

I have also taken to calling the customer services lines whenever a product says 'vegetable oil' on it because who knows, it might be soya. They just say 'vegetable oil' because then they can use whatever is cheapest. Eg I asked Goodness Foods (a wholefood supplier) whether their pack of organic raisins contained soya oil and they said it usually was sunflower oil but they couldn't guarantee it would be free from soya.

Why is it there? Probably mostly because it's cheap - a cheap source of protein, fat and fibre. And the lecithin is extremely useful as an emulsifier (it helps fat mix with water). Plus recently people have been hailing soya as a 'superfood'. One of my cookbooks has this entry for lecithin:
"A soya-derived fat emulsifier which adds to the smoothness and creaminess of some recipes. A rich source of phosphatidyl choline, an essential brain food. Suitable from nine months."
And a magazine supplement I bought earlier in the year mentions the cholesterol-lowering properties of soya and suggests people should consume 25g soya protein a day (while including a disclaimer about some negative aspects of soya such as interfering with thyroid function).

Sorry if this is rather rambling but I hope there's some help here, especially to utka as it sounds like this is a relatively new thing for you. Here's another long message from me when saacsmum realised she had to avoid soy and cow's milk at the same time.

We're supposed to be having RASTs done on both boys fairly soon (when ds2 is 18 months) and I'm hoping we can stop the label-scanning after that, at least until I get pregnant again which I'm not planning to for a while.

Utka Wed 04-May-05 21:39:53

Thanks SamN, this is hugely useful. I hadn't realised it was in so much stuff. Fortunately we also have a Tescos near us, and an Asda so I have options other than Sainsbury's to try.

DD1 is also due some more RAST tests shortly, and I'm hoping they'll include soya this time, so we can be sure (even though I'm pretty convinced this was the problem). Her eczema is bad again after a relatively good spell, and both she and we are down about it. I can't help feeling it must be the soya to blame, but then again, maybe I'm just clutching at straws. Like most other people on here, we've tried all sorts of creams, regimes and food avoidance - it just feels so hit and miss.

SamN Thu 05-May-05 09:30:56

Hi Utka, glad my ramblings were of some help. Yes it is very frustrating isn't it? I suspect it's rather hit and miss for the medics as well, although some of them wouldn't want to admit that.

And the RAST might not necessarily help - it didn't show anything for my ds1 when he was about 2 yo, even though he was still throwing up every time he had even the slightest trace of soya. At least the dietitian in this instance believed me and didn't tell me it was all my imagination. (And they said he had high IgE levels anyway, which implies to me that something was going on with his immune system and maybe this masked whatever the reaction to soya was. Or maybe he 'just' has an intolerance, which wouldn't show up on these tests as I said earlier.)

more rambling, better go and get ds1 dressed

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