Study: Old Apple Varieties Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Many people with hay fever go on to develop an apple allergy over time. As a result, they try to avoid apples or eat older apple varieties, which are often well tolerated. Now an observational study has revealed a new finding: The regular consumption of old apple varieties can reduce overall symptoms, leading to better tolerance of the newer apple varieties

The study shows that tolerance can apparently develop by regularly consuming low-allergen apples. People who are allergic to apples should therefore choose these apples whenever they are available.

Prof. Karl-Christian Bergmann, the study director, conducts research for the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) at Allergie-Centrum, Berliner Charité and is the director of the German Pollen Information Service Foundation (PID):

“We demonstrated through this observational study that it is absolutely worth it for people with an apple allergy to make the effort to find and buy old apple varieties such as Alkmene, Gravenstein, Jonathan and Boskoop. According to our study, although regular consumption does not completely get rid of the apple allergy, it does lead to a significant reduction in symptoms when eating apples.”

The German Pollen Information Service Foundation (PID), Allergie-Centrum-Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in cooperation with the environmental association BUND Lemgo, the Institute of Food Technology NRW at OWL University of Applied Sciences, and the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) were involved in the research.

The study included 63 allergy patients who displayed a wide range of allergy symptoms after eating apples.

People with hay fever are often allergic to apples. This so-called pollen-food syndrome is due to the similarity of the allergens in hazel, alder or birch tree pollens to certain protein structures in apples. The most common apple allergy symptoms are itching in the mouth and swelling of the oral mucosa, tongue or lips. Eye, nasal, skin or respiratory symptoms may occur. Symptoms usually begin five to ten minutes after eating an apple and subside after 20 minutes.

 

 

Detailed information about the study can be found here (German)