Soy allergy symptoms were practically unheard of just fifty years ago and soy was considered one of the wonder products; delicious, versatile and full of body-building proteins, such as enzymes and trypsin inhibitors. Infants with milk allergies were switched to a soy based formula, and health products sported concentrates of soy bean extracts. It was estimated that only .02 percent of the global population exhibited soy allergy symptoms, with possibly even lower figures of .01 percent. However, in recent years, these symptoms have been on the rise, causing a great deal of concern among the medical profession.
There are several factors involved with this phenomenon. Although soybeans are among the eight most common food allergies, they also produce the mildest reactions. The typical dose needed to cause symptoms is one hundred times higher than for other food allergens. Typically, soy allergy symptoms in infants go away by age three, but soy allergies in older children and adults increase over time.
Soy is Found in Many Food Products
Soy protein concentrates are made into a soy flour, which is added to the flour used for bakery products and breakfast cereals. Soy protein concentrate is also added to meats and poultry products. This allows for increased retention of water, while improving the nutritional value in proteins, but it also increases the potential for a reaction among people with soy allergies.
The increased use of soy products and concentrates has increased the amount of soy the general populace is consuming. What had once been barely noticeable soy allergy symptoms now can result in severe allergy reactions, such as asthma or anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis, a condition that can result in face swelling, restricted air passages and unconsciousness, can be fatal without immediate medical attention.
New Studies On Soy
New studies on soy based allergies indicate that certain symptoms have increased by 50% since 1996. Researchers have been unable to identify exactly what parts of the soy are causing allergy reactions. While soy allergies in infants has not caused a great deal of alarm
as a passing phase they will grow out of as they grow older, there is a steadily increasing number of adults with soy allergy symptoms.
There has been some discussion that genetically modified soy is partly responsible for the number of cases that have been skyrocketing since the year 2000. Genetically modified soy has an altered DNA structure for warding off the invasions of pests. It is possible that the human body does not recognize this structure, thus reacting with allergy symptoms against what it perceives as a harmful invading body.
Causes for Soy Allergy Symptoms
These causes have not been clearly defined, but the rising incident rate in severe allergy reactions is causing more health professionals to take a serious look at the prevalence of soy in food products. Soy has become an everyday house hold product, found in breads, prepared foods, margarine, soups and meat. It is possible that the increased use of soy is causing more severe allergy symptoms, as an allergy to soy never truly goes away, only increases over time as soy continues to be consumed.