The Problem of Additives In Our Protein Shakes & My Latex Allergies Continue


Over the years I have always looked for the best ingredients in the products I use, especially out of the selfish reason of my own health. One of the allergies that I really never had to worry about with food beyond the basic cross reactive items like bananas, avocado, kiwi, etc., was my latex allergy. However this Summer has been the eye awakening Summer of what is being added to our skin care, our foods, and of course what it is doing to my skin.

Food allergies and I have been walking hand in hand through life since I was in my early tween years. I am used to reading labels. I've been watching over the past few years as Sunflower has made an epic leap into just about everything organic you can find. Can I just say I am tired of everything being made with sunflower oil??

First if you look at the omega balance that tips so easily, a food that is 60% omega-6 makes it tougher for a vegan. This however is what you are getting when you are eating more of these "breakthrough food" items. Sure, you can now eat chickpea butter., and plantain chips, but they are filled with sunflower oil. Even my favorite local co-op has transitioned to using an olive oil - sunflower oil blend for the food they make in store. Most people haven't even realized that the largest oil used in organic foods today is sunflower oil.

Healthy packaged foods and most fast food, healthy or not, are using these high omega-6 oils. Chipotle uses mostly rice bran oil which is actually far healthier. They do use sunflower for their chips (which are corn, so you probably wouldn't eat them anyway)

An EU studies show that repeated heating of sunflower oil creates a dangerous chemical change. It causes a thermal lipid oxidation which results in the formation of polar compounds and new chemical functional groups that deposit in the cooking oil. It also destroys the vitamin E, thus losing the natural fatty acid protection against lipid oxidation.

What is interesting is that the FDA warned of this all the way back in 2013, but have yet to ban the practice. This information came after studies became public in 2012 that when sunflower oil is overheated you find certain aldehyde that are related to neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer. This was published in the Food Chemistry Journal and looked at sunflower, flaxseed and olive oil. Sunflower and flaxseed oil were a huge fail in a short amount of time.

So, I have been eating less and less of the new foods, because of the added sunflower. Yet I am still having this weird reaction this Summer causing this ketoish looking rash that is just awful to deal with. So if it isn't ketosis (which I can say with all of the carbs I have been eating, it's clearly not ketosis), and it isn't candida... what it is? We've determined that it is back to the latex connection.

Latex allergies beyond foods I Latex in skin care and hair care products

Latex has a lot of weird cross-reactive protein items, but also they just make a lot of items from latex bearing plants and trees. Either it has aloe in it, which that aloe is a latex trigger, or it has gums in it. Those latex cross-reactive foods include acacia which is gum arabic, as can carrageenan which they call a a pseudo-latex allergy. These gums are being placed in moisturizers, sun care products, even serums can all have all of these items in them. In fact, even my free of everything hair spray had an ingredient in it that could have triggered my latex reactions. When you start reading those organic food lists and if they don't have sunflower, you will find some sort of latex cross-reactive ingredient almost always.

I just recently read about an anaphylactic reaction after drinking of apple juice supplemented with acerola in a latex-allergic patient. And they are talking about making a new "gum" out of the cashew tree. Isn't that a sweet idea?

So here I sit, drinking my turmeric, taking loads of nettle and histamine blockers, and thinking how lucky I am that I am not so severe that this cross reaction is sending me to the ER like many latex allergy sufferers. Currently you cannot even buy items that say, "Latex-free" as they have changed the wording to say, "Not made with Natural Rubber Latex" as the FDA has decided that the agency is not aware of any tests that can show a product contains no natural rubber latex proteins that can cause allergic reactions. This is something that at least ten percent of us are dealing with, and I am sure more on the horizon.

So now that I can't have any of these filler ingredients... the idea of what sort of vegan protein shake can I actually use? I have actually found two, and one has none of my allergens in it. The first is the Sprout Living Epic Protein, which unfortunately has sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds in their protein blend. I am VERY allergic to sunflower, and sunflower seeds are a low cross-reactive ingredient for those with latex sensitivity.

The second one that I can actually have is the vegan Pure Food Plant Based Protein Power with Probiotics.  Pure Food Protein Powder is the first and only truly clean protein powder with 100% plant-based, organic, real food ingredients and probiotics, and no gum or other thickening or emulsifying agents that I may react to. The company also donates 5 meals to hungry families in need for every order they get. They are a very small business, yet they have still donated 10,000+ meals so far, which is amazing. So this is the really the one, the healthy meal replacement shake for vegans. I have given a lot of alternative meal replacement shakes for vegans over the years, but this is the cleanest shake I have seen. One note is that lucuma has a latex sap when immature, although I haven't seen anything about this causing a latex reaction.

Recently food members of the thaumatin-like protein (TLP) family have been identified as important allergens in peach fruit, and also been described as allergens in various fruits, such as apple, cherry, kiwi, olive and banana, and in pollens such as cypress and possibly others. So that means the NuZest Clean is out as well as since that is exactly what you are getting from the Katemfe Fruit.

If you want just one ingredient, Julian Bakery has a Sacha Inchi powder that is just that. Nothing else included. But it is really very bland, and really only giving you protein. Still, for some people that may be all you need. Yet, sacha inchi has two unigene expression latex-like proteins that take place in the development that could trigger me, so for not it has to go into the "next" space.

So as I keep looking I have a few options as far as I can use just plain organic pea protein. How much boring can it get. I have a moringa based plant protein mix that I can use if I want a little more excitement. I could move back over into vegetarian land and do a undenatured whey from Tera's, as a last resort.

Foods that they say may or may not be a problem, that I have already eliminated are Papaya, Pear, Mango, Sweet Pepper, Peach, Rye, Cayenne Pepper, Plum, Wheat, Shellfish, Cherry, Hazelnut, Sunflower Seed, Walnut, Peanut, Buckwheat, Castor Bean, Apricot, Lychee, Passion, Fruit and Persimmon.    New foods I will have to eliminate are Apple, Carrot, Celery, Potato, Tomato, Melons (I have been eating watermelon but have eliminated all of the others... bubye watermelon) Pineapple, Citrus Fruits, Strawberry, Soybean, Coconut, Fig, Chick Pea, Grape, Dill, Oregano, Zucchini, Nectarines and Sage. Do you hear a little sob? I am not sure if I will have to eliminate medium-chain triglycerides, as that may be like a lethicin where there isn't any proteins left. Research shows that medium-chain triglyceride oil supplementation had minimal or no influence on plasma amino acids. That leads me to believe I can still use it.

So after 19 years of dealing with an increasingly more complex latex allergy, and thirty years since I started having latex allergy symptoms, this will be the year that latex forces me to become a minimalist. As someone that loves trying new things, and just loves things in general... this year is going to be hard. I guess that is what turning 50 will be for me. Transforming. Maybe that is my word for 2019. What do you think?



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